Robinson Cano had a tall order to fill when he stepped up to the plate on Monday night to compete in the MLB Home Run Derby in San Diego. Giancarlo Stanton had just blasted 24 home runs before him, and Cano had to match or beat that number if he had any chance of moving forward.
Throwing to Cano was his father, former MLB pitcher Jose Cano. While Robinson did not do himself any favors when he produced a mere 7 home runs, his father’s BP pitching didn’t help either. Instead of throwing the ball where his son could drive it, he missed the strike zone several times, even making Robby dance out of the way on a few pitches. Not only was the quality of pitching sub-par, but Jose Cano seemed to take his time during the round, and with the new format time is everything.
Jose Cano was not the only BP pitcher to throw less than quality BP. Wil Myers’ brother, Beau Myers, even managed to bean Wil Myers with a ball during the Derby. Furthermore, Myers did not seem to get in a rhythm, and the quality of pitching is certainly in the discussion for being responsible.
I get the fact that the Home Run Derby is all in good fun, and the players want to use it as a chance to get their family in on the fun, but the fact remains that it is extremely hard to have a good round with the bad pitching and lack of rhythm. With the new and exciting Home Run Derby format that goes by time rather than having to hit as many home runs as possible before registering 10 outs, it is important to have good pitching. Guys can’t just take pitches in search of that perfect beach ball pitch to drive out. They have to swing at anything. Therefore, it is a good idea for hitters to select their personal BP pitchers, or at least make sure that the pitcher they choose has the stamina to last the entire round and still deliver quality pitching. Also, getting in a good rhythm is important, and the pitcher is almost as important to achieving that is the hitter. Enjoy the Derby, and have fun, but it would be in the hitter’s best interest to choose wisely when picking a pitcher for the Derby.