- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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The Home Run Derby might be family business for Robinson Cano.
The Yankees second baseman is thinking of using his 49-year-old father, Jose Cano, a former major league pitcher, to toss him batting practice during the Derby Monday. Cano, who has mashed 15 homers this year, said he is going to decide who will throw to him Sunday night.
“It’s good to have your Dad, somebody you know and they know what part of the plate you can hit the ball better and that’s good,” Cano said. “It’s going to be nice to have your Dad throw you (batting practice). That’s something that’s going to be in my mind and my heart for the rest of my life.”
While it’s not official yet that his father will pitch to him, Cano’s father will be coming with him to Arizona to the All-Star Game. Cano, who will start at second base for the American League for the second straight year, joked there will be more pressure on poppa than son. Jose Cano pitched in six games for the Astros in 1989, going in 1-1 with a 5.09 ERA over 23 innings.
“He’s never been throwing (batting practice) in the big leagues, he played a long time ago,” Cano said. “He’ll enjoy it and have fun too.”
This will be Cano’s first time participating in the Home Run Derby, as the Yankees asked him to withdraw last season. This year, after being asked by American League Captain David Ortiz to be part of his team, Cano accepted.
Cano said he’s looking forward more to the All-Star Game, but is looking to have a good time as he tries to keep up with some of the top sluggers in the game like Jose Bautista and Prince Fielder.
"I’m going to have fun,” Cano said. "That’s what matters to me. Go there, have fun and spend time from the guys.”
The Yankees representative in the Home Run Derby is being pegged by some of his teammates as a contender for the title. Catcher Russell Martin said he thinks Cano has as good a shot as anyone in the field because of his effortless swings and he doesn’t envision getting Cano tired as the rounds progress.
Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson, who has 25 homers, is impressed enough by Cano’s batting practice showcases that he’s picking him to win the field. His teammates appreciates the love.
“If he didn’t say I was his pick I would kick his (butt). Just playing,” Cano joked. “It means a lot to me for a guy like him that has 25 home runs. Wow, that’s a lot. He’s the kind of guy that you always know you’re going to have your teammates on your side because if you don’t have your teammates, who else you going to have and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.”
The Home Run Derby might be family business for Robinson Cano.The Yankees second baseman is thinking of using his 49-year-old father, Jose Cano, a former major league pitcher, to toss him batting practice during the Derby Monday.