Mariners 2B Robinson Cano, amid his worst major league season, told USA Today Sunday that a stomach issue he’s had since August has affected his performance this year. Diagnosed with a common parasite, Cano said the condition has been treated with antibiotics, but that he still suffers acid reflux, and that changes to his diet haven’t helped.
“Sometimes, I only eat once before playing because I feel full. And you just don’t have the same energy,” he said.
The 32-year-old Cano said he has been reluctant to talk about the stomach problem because it might be perceived that he is making excuses for his poor performance.
“When things go well, people like everything you do,” Cano said. “When things don’t go well, people look for 1,001 explanations, and they don’t understand you’re a human being.”
Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners prior to the 2013 season. He made the All-Star team in his first year with the club, but hasn’t been right this season, batting .248 despite a recent 8-for-20 surge that included seven hits in two games.
Cano’s strikeouts are up, his walks down, and he has experienced baffling mental lapses on the bases. Cano has been a major reason why the Mariners have fallen out of contention in AL West after coming within a game of a postseason berth last season.
Cano said he started experiencing stomach discomfort in August. With the Mariners in the playoff chase, he didn’t get it checked until their season was over, in October. Treatment hasn’t helped much.
“It still affects me,” Cano said. “Sometimes you drink water and it makes you feel like vomiting. I can’t eat the same way I did. It’s hard to deal with, especially being the first time this has happened to me.
“Sometimes I play without any strength or energy, but you have to play, give the best of yourself. Some people may say, ‘Cano, he’s listless.’ But (the energy) is not the same.”
The Mariners return to Safeco Field Monday night to begin a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers. Hisashi Iwakuma will start for Seattle after coming off the disabled list. To make room for Iwakuma, the Mariners optioned OF James Jones to the Tacoma Rainiers. He had been with the club for two days after a July 4 call up.