Robinson Cano addressed former assistant hitting coach Andy Van Slyke's offseason criticism of him before the first full-squad workout of spring training.
"Honestly it didn't hurt me. Coming from a guy like him, it doesn't bother me at all because I know how I play," Cano said. "If you hear the comments, first he threw me under the bus and then he was like [saying] what's so great about myself. So you didn't know what he was trying to say. But Andy, I don't know, it doesn't even matter to me."
Van Slyke, in an interview with a St. Louis radio station in November, labeled Cano the worst everyday No. 3 hitter he'd ever seen in the first half of a season. He said he played the worst defense at second base that the former big leaguer had seen in 20 years. He then backtracked and complimented Cano's throwing arm.
Van Slyke also said former Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon and hitting coach Howard Johnson were fired after the season because of Cano, who hit .238 with four home runs and 24 RBIs over the first 74 games.
The comments elicited an apology from the Mariners to Cano, he said, even though Van Slyke had since been let go along with the other coaches from the previous staff.
"I said I'm not going to waste my time and say anything back. I got a call from the Mariners that they were like apologizing because he said all that stuff," Cano said. "He was a guy that always talked to me. You guys saw that in the season. He says that. I don't know how come he said that everybody got fired because of me."