SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Robinson Cano may be a five-time All-Star who just signed a $240 million deal with the Mariners, but Seattle's new second baseman isn't taking anything for granted this spring despite his hot start at the plate.
Manager Lloyd McClendon originally planned to give Cano the day off Thursday after he'd played three Cactus League games in a row and continued his hot start to the spring, but the 10th-year Major League veteran said he wanted to stay in the lineup after missing four games last week following a root canal surgery.
Cano wound up going 2-for-4 with two RBIs in Seattle's 6-3 victory over the D-backs and is now hitting a crisp .609 (14-for-23) with six RBIs on the spring.
The former Yankees standout said he's still adjusting to a new situation and just wants to do everything he can to be ready when the regular season begins on March 31.
"Yeah. I mean, new team, new division," Cano said. "I want to get as many at-bats as I can. I was out for four days and next thing you know, the season is right there around the corner. So I'm getting as many at-bats as I can right now so I can get ready for Opening Day. I don't want to feel like I should have taken a few more at-bats or this or that. I feel good, but I don't want to take that for granted."
That approach is welcomed by McClendon.
"He's been out a while and he said he wanted to play," McClendon said. "So what do you do? He wants to play, you play him."
Cano drove in a run with a ground ball in the first inning Thursday, added a sharp RBI single to right-center in the second and then stroked another base hit up the middle in the seventh before being replaced by a pinch-runner.
"I feel good," Cano said. "For me, as long as I'm hitting the ball the other way, that's good. My goal in Spring Training and also in the season is to use the whole field. That's where I want to stay."
As for his .600-plus batting average?
"I'll take that," Cano said with a grin. "I would say this -- if you work hard, you get good results. I always come early, do my job, get my work in the cage and keep my routine. I don't want to feel short, like I should have come earlier. You do what you need to do to get it going."
"Robbie can hit," said McClendon. "He knows how to get ready and he's been going at it very well. He's working extremely hard and is bringing other guys along with him. I've been very impressed with how he goes about his business."