Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:35 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 10:50 pm
 


By Matt Snyder


As we continue the final trek toward spring training, we also continue the series that's gonna get us there. Our first installment of Who Would You Rather Have got some pretty good discussion going, as it pitted Roy Halladay against Justin Verlander. I believe we have an equally tough decision in front of us this time around, too.

For this installment, we look to baseball's most intense rivalry ... specifically the second basemen: Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia. I feel compelled to point out that we seemed to get a lot of non-answers on Twitter and in the comments (like "Tim Lincecum" to the Verlander vs. Halladay question), and I'm thinking those people didn't understand that this is an ongoing series. I can assure you that many big names from across America -- like Lincecum -- will be included at some point. You'll also have a decision between two young NL West sluggers Saturday, for example. Patience ...

Anyhow, it's Cano vs. Pedroia now. Red Sox vs. Yankees. Beantown vs. the Bronx. Let's get it on.

The case for Cano

While he was already a very good hitter, Cano has developed into one of the most feared hitters in baseball over the past two seasons, finishing in the top six of MVP voting both times. His triple slash line of .311/.365/.533 from 2010-11 is a beauty for a second baseman, not to mention the 28 homers, 46 doubles, 118 RBI and 104 runs he posted last season. It was good enough for Cano to bring home the Silver Slugger for the second consecutive season.

A model of durability as well, Cano hasn't played in less than 159 games in any of the past five seasons. Pedroia only managed 75 games in an injury-plagued 2010 season, so that's a point for Cano.

The case for Pedroia

On the other hand, Pedroia played in 157, 154 and 159 games, respectively, in three of the past four seasons, so it's not like he's injury prone. Pedroia, the 2007 Rookie of the Year, also won the 2008 MVP. And Pedroia can do it all. He hit 21 home runs last season while stealing 26 bases and also winning a Gold Glove (his second). His .307/.387/.474 line is competitive with Cano's, too. Where Pedroia has a bit less home-run power, he makes up for it by getting on base. He holds a .373 to .347 advantage in career OBP.

Pedroia has one World Series ring, but so does Cano.

Cano will make $14 million in 2012 while Pedroia will make $8 million, but Pedroia's salary increases in the next several years while Cano is a free agent after a 2013 club option. Age is a veritable wash, as Cano is roughly 10 months older.

Really, any which way you can divide this up, it's a very close call. Many advanced defensive metrics show Pedroia with a significant edge in range, hence the 2011 Fielding Bible award -- meaning the stat crowd views him as the best defensive second baseman in all of baseball. Cano is viewed as no better than average defensively from that perspective. Cano did win the 2010 AL Gold Glove, but Gold Glove voting has produced dubious results at times -- like Rafael Palmeiro taking the honors in 1999 while playing only 28 games in the field. Unlike many younger bloggers and writers, I don't totally discount the Gold Glove, but I do trust the Fielding Bible awards more. Of course, using either one gives the defensive edge to Pedroia -- and you could argue Cano only won the 2010 Gold Glove because Pedroia was hurt anyway, which I would.

Our call

I'm going to go with Pedroia here in a photo finish, the closest of calls, based upon the defensive separation. The two are very close across the board. Just as with yesterday's pick, I could go either way and there definitely isn't a wrong answer. In fact, we have over 20 of these posts lined up, and this may well be the hardest choice among them.

But now it's your turn. Vote and comment away.

Fan Vote:



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Comments
brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:36 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:30 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Hey brain8troll, I know this is a baseball thread, but really, if you're going to take other fans to task because their teams choked and missed the playoffs, you might want to change that AV first.
Wink




Since: Jan 25, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:30 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Yes I'm a Red Sox fan, and yes Cano is a great player, but I'm going with Pedroia. Aside from the stats, I would go with Pedroia because he has the leadership skills. He can really develop a whole team while leading by example. He can hit anywhere in the lineup with success as he has proved over his 4 seasons. He hit above .300 every year and that is the kind of effort needed to lead a team. After every game his uniform is dirty. He goes all out and treats every game like its game 7 of the world series and that kind of intensity is how a leader should play every game. Cano is a great player. He has power, average, and clutch, but Pedroia is the total package. Better defensively and if it came down to a bottom of the ninth situation, I'd rather have Pedroia taking the at-bat for me.



Since: Jan 13, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:12 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

It'll be interesting to see who breaks down faster at such a demanding position. I'm 28, and I play second base in a men's league, and after only 30 games per season, I'm ready for it to be over so I can rest my body.  I couldn't imagine how much of a toll it takes to play 150-160 games per season.

I'd take Cano because I'm a Yanks fan, but if I couldn't, Pedroia would be my next choice.  Both are great ballplayers.  I wouldn't complain if I got one and not the other.



Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:10 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

I am a die hard sox fan and I love Pedroia. He is a great all around player and a great leader, but if I had to pick I would give a slight edge to Cano for his offense. And by the way if you are going to call someone retarded at least spell it right


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:09 pm
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brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:52 pm
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Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:44 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Cano's the better power hitter, Pedroia comes to play every, every day...and pumps up the rest of the team. I haven't seen Cano spark the resst of his team wthe way Pedroia does..and for that reason alone, I take him over Cano, he makes the rest of the team better just by being on the field.



Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:21 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Genuine buffoons in Ohio...what a surprise.



Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:14 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

I'll start by admitting that, as a Red Sox fan, I'm obviously biased. Cano has better offensive numbers over his career. Defensively, I think it's a wash. Even so, I'd take Pedroia. Cano's offensive numbers are better, but not by a huge margin, and I find Pedroia to be far more entertaining, both on and off the field, and in a good way - not entertaining like "Manny Being Manny". Undecided I love his energy. I also really like the leadership Pedroia has started to show and his up-front honesty and willingness to admit faults and when he or his team is playing bad without actually creating any drama by personally attacking anyone.

Any team would be lucky to have either guy manning 2nd base.



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