Robinson Cano cleared by Mariners to play winter ball in Dominican Republic

Saturday January 10th, 2015

Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano has been granted permission by the team to play in winter ball games in the Dominican Republic, where he is from, the team confirmed on Friday.

Cano, 32, sustained a broken right little toe when he was hit by a pitch in an exhibition game against Samurai Japan in November. He sat out a month to let the injury heal.

Cano, a six-time AL All-Star, asked team management for permission to play in a few games in the Dominican League while he was in his homeland this winter. He has not played in the Dominican League since 2008-09.

"Robinson has reported to us his broken right pinkie toe is fully healed and he wants to get on a baseball field to test it before reporting for spring training," said Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik. "We look forward to Robinson reporting to Peoria, Ariz., in a little over a month ready to go for the 2015 season."

Cano intends to join the Estrellas Orientales as a designated hitter for five games, with the possibility of more if the team advances in the postseason. His first game is slated for Tuesday.

In 2014, Cano appeared in 157 games, hitting .314 with 14 home runs and 82 RBI. He had a .382 on-base percentage and a .454 slugging percentage. Seattle finished the year 87-75 and in third place in the AL West.

The second baseman will enter the second year of a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners in 2015. He is scheduled to join the rest of Seattle's position players in reporting to camp on Feb. 24, with the team's first full workout planned for the next day.

- Christopher Woody
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