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Orioles All-Star Making Strong Case For Second Straight Bid

Traded to the Orioles seemingly as a throw-in piece, Yennier Cano has made himself one of the most reliable arms in the league. After getting called up in mid-April 2023, Yennier Cano was not seen as a real piece of the Orioles’ future. However, since that call-up, he has not returned to the minors. He began his 2023 season with 17 straight scoreless outings. That helped Cano earn an all-star appearance in his first full season as an MLB player. He finished the year with a 2.11 ERA and as reliable a bullpen arm as a team could hope for. He became one of the best setup men in all of baseball. It has been much of the same in 2024. Cano has had an incredible start this year, holding a 2.32 ERA. Amidst a slew of pitcher injuries, Yennier Cano has been someone the Orioles can rely on.

Orioles All-Star Making Strong Case For Second Straight Bid

Yennier Cano Is Having Another Great First Half

Obviously, without fellow All-Star Felix Bautista in the bullpen with him, Cano has entered many more close games this year. But his numbers remain similar to his first-half stats from 2023. At this point in 2024, Cano has 36 appearances, while he had 37 in the first half of 2023. In 2023, before the All-Star break, Cano had a 1.48 ERA. Along with that, he had 38 strikeouts, 4 saves and 1 win. Cano’s ERA is slightly higher in 2024 at 2.32, but he started the year as a high-leverage pitcher, as opposed to 2023 where he began his season in low-pressure spots. Also, Cano has only allowed one more earned run this season than he had before the All-Star break last year. However, his counting stats are very similar. Cano has 32 strikeouts, 3 saves, and 3 wins this season. Also, Cano has given up fewer hits in 2024. Overall, the stats show that Cano has had another incredible season.

The Secrets Behind Yennier Cano’s Success

Simply put, Yennier Cano’s changeup is one of the nastiest pitches in baseball. Opponents hit just .174 against it, with 14 strikeouts in 46 at-bats. His changeup generates a whiff percentage of 34%, which is very high. All these numbers are somehow an improvement from 2023, where his changeup had a .193 batting average against it. It’s a ridiculously good pitch and helps make Cano an elite pitcher.



Another big reason Cano is so effective is his ability to make hitters chase. He has a chase percentage of 35.2%, which is in the 95th percentile of the entire MLB. A reason for this is both of Cano’s top two pitches, his sinker and changeup, start in the zone and then suddenly drop out. Considering these pitches are both super effective, it’s no surprise Cano generates so many hitters to chase. Also, Cano is very good at inducing ground balls. He is in the 100th percentile with 65.2% of balls put in play being grounders. That has caused limited amounts of extra-base hits against Cano. Also, it gives Cano the ability to come in with runners on and to force a double play. Overall, Cano has been very effective in a variety of ways, leading to his success.

Does Cano Have A Chance At Another All-Star Bid?

There is no doubting Yennier Cano has had a great season so far. His ERA is top 20 in the AL for relievers, and he leaves runners on base more often than all but 2 relievers. Cano’s left on-base percentage is 87.2%. However, Cano may have difficulty making the team unless he pitches perfectly for the next month. He is certainly in the mix, given his impressive stats, and given he is on a top AL team, but it will not be an easy task. Emmanuel Clase and Mason Miller seem to have their spots locked down, which leaves room for one more reliever. Cano can certainly be that guy, but he will have to take another step up this season. Despite that, Cano has still been incredible in 2024. He has been a shutdown reliever and certainly someone the Orioles can turn to in a tough situation. Whether he makes the All-Star game or not, he will have had an amazing first half of the season.

Main Photo Credits: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports


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