Cano & the opening day lineup

Robinson Cano knows this is his year. He is the man on this Yankee team. He knows it, and opponents know it.

With no Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter, Cano is the main power source. Teams may give him the Barry Bonds treatment, where they just say, "Here, take first, just don't take all the bases." Cano must be patient to be successful.

"All I want to do is see my pitch and if not, just trying to get a walk and let the guy behind me do the job," Cano said.

Against lefty Jon Lester on Monday, there will probably not be that much protection for Cano. This is how I predict Joe Girardi will play it.

1. Brett Gardner

2. Ichiro Suzuki

3. Robinson Cano

4. Kevin Youkilis

5. Travis Hafner

6. Vernon Wells

7. Eduardo Nunez

8. Jayson Nix

9. Chris Stewart

Girardi usually likes to switch up his lefties and his righties more, but I don't know if he will have that option. He could push Nunez or Nix into the second hole. But either way, the Red Sox, like everyone else, are going to do their best not to let Cano beat them.

Cano hasn't had much success against Lester in the past.

"He has gotten me out a lot," Cano said.

In 57 at-bats, Cano has never hit a homer off Lester. He has a .228 average.