First Pitch: Cano for MVP? Yes.

In 2012, Robinson Cano had four RBIs in the first month of the season -- and still finished fourth in the AL MVP voting.

That alone tells you how exceptional the remaining five months of '12 were for Cano. In three of the final five months, he had an OPS that was .970 or better. He was a dominant hitter.

Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano

#24 2B
New York Yankees

2012 STATS

  • GM161
  • HR33

  • RBI94

  • R105

  • OBP.379

  • AVG.313

Now, he enters the final year of his contract and it can break one of two ways. The pressure of playing for a big-money contract could push him to new heights and possibly an MVP season. Or, with all those riches hanging over his head, he could struggle.

Knowing Cano, I think he will handle it well. Ultimately, as Reggie Jackson likes to say, talent wins out. Cano has too much ability not to have a big year.

But the Yankees really need him to carry them. It is possible for the Yankees to have a successful year without an MVP season out of Cano, it just isn't probable.

Cano is too important to this club and with each injury, he becomes even more vital. In a league with Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera, I'm taking Cano to win the MVP.

UP NOW: Derek Jeter won't start playing again until next week, at the earliest. Phil Hughes is headed to the DL. Wally and I debated if Joe Girardi is on the hot seat or not. Plus, Mark Simon looked how everything could go right.

ON DECK: Wally will have everything chronicled on the final day of spring training in Tampa. I will be meeting the Yanks in Washington on Friday, where they have an afternoon exhibition with Rafael Soriano's Nats.

QUESTION: Do you think Cano will win the MVP?