Just to be clear, we don’t mean that headline as a backhanded compliment. Because a month into the season, it’s safe to say that moving Robinson Cano into the five spot in the Yankees’ lineup is working out even better than they could have hoped. Cano hit two more home runs last night, just missed a third, and for good measure, made a terrific play on a Nolan Reimold grounder up the middle in the third inning. On the morning of the last day of April, Cano is leading the American League in batting (.407), slugging (.790), and OPS (1.235). He’s also got eight home runs, something he couldn’t say last year until May 21. No Yankee, by the way, has ever hit .400 with at least eight home runs in April. And no one has done it for any team since Barry Bonds did in 2004.
Speaking of hot starts, A.J. Burnett improved to 3–0 — something he’d never done in his career. He appeared almost as locked-in as Cano did, allowing the Orioles just three hits over eight innings. He still hasn’t gotten his curveball working — he’s the first to admit it — but his fastball looked as good as it has all year, and he threw a first-pitch strike to 21 of the 28 batters he faced in the 4–0 wn.
The Yankees finally return home tonight to close out the month with just their seventh game at Yankee Stadium in their first 22 contests. Andy Pettitte — who’s having an even better April than Burnett — takes the ball, looking to improve to 4–0, to go along with his 1.29 ERA. We’d say it’s too bad April has to end, but we doubt Mark Teixeira would agree.