May 12, 2023 - Sports

Yennier Canó's remarkable transformation

Yennier Canó high-fives Adley Rutschman after closing out the Rays on Wednesday. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Baltimore Orioles reliever Yennier Canó is having a historically great season — out of absolutely nowhere.

By the numbers: The 29-year-old rookie has a 0.16 WHIP (walks, hits per inning pitched) in 14 appearances this year, the lowest by a Major League Baseball pitcher over any span of 14 appearances in the modern era.

  • He's faced 57 batters and allowed just three hits, no walks and no runs.
  • He has 22 strikeouts, many coming on his nasty sinker and unfair changeup.

Plus: The Cuba native also has three saves and could end up taking the closer job from Félix Bautista, a dominant reliever in his own right (1.59 ERA, 8 saves).

The backdrop: Nobody saw this coming. Canó struggled in his brief time with the Minnesota Twins last season (9.22 ERA) before being shipped to Baltimore in August as part of a package for All-Star closer Jorge López.

  • Canó was brutal in three appearances for the O’s in 2022 (18.69 ERA) and was sent down to Triple-A, where he recorded a 4.32 ERA across 11 games.
  • He started there this season before the Orioles called him up on April 14.

Snapshot: Look at this remarkable transformation…

  • 2022: 18 innings, 26 hits, 23 earned runs, 16 walks, 21 strikeouts
  • 2023: 18.2 innings, 3 hits, 0 earned runs, 0 walks, 22 strikeouts

1 fun thing … Canó strikes a pose after each strikeout. His signature stare down has already been made into a T-shirt and is part of his growing legend in Baltimore.

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