Mentor to Pineda: It will be Cano's team

Wally nominated Alex Rodriguez as the heir to Derek Jeter's leadership role, but, to me, it is clearly Robinson Cano. The first reason is that he is the Yankees best every day player and figures to be for a long time.

Plus, it seems to me, from his appearance on Leno the other night to his forthcoming ESPN commercial, there is a high level of stardom that Cano is reaching to. But it is much more than that as Cano goes to the next level of his career.

The lessons that Cano has learned from A-Rod and Jeter about hard work and focusing on the right aspects of the game are starting to be passed down from the 29-year-old Cano. This is from the story when Pineda threw at camp on Tuesday.

Pineda and second baseman Cano are friends, which should help the pitcher's adjustment.

"He talked to me, (and said) focus on the game, in your work," Pineda said. "Don't worry. I'll take care of you."

Often in the Yankee clubhouse, Cano has a group of young players -- usually Dominican -- who looked up to him for guidance.During spring training, on many mornings as the players get ready for the day, there are five-to-10 players who have pulled up seats around Cano to hear what he has to say.

He is already leading, but I see that growing now in the next phase of his career.

So how about Cano as the heir to Jeter's captaincy?