Cano pulled from winter ball

Cano pulled from winter ball

NEW YORK -- Robinson Cano may need to wait for Spring Training to take his next swings against live game competition.

The Yankees instructed the 25-year-old second baseman to pull out of action with his Dominican Winter Baseball League club, the Orientales Estrellas, general manager Brian Cashman confirmed on Friday.

Cano was expected to play in only six winter league games to test an injury late in the season, Cashman said, but he was told to leave the club after Cano continued to play. He batted .389 in nine regular-season games for the Orientales before going hitless in the first game of a round-robin playoff series on Wednesday.

"Physically, he's fine," Cashman said. "There's something he was playing through in September. He knew he was supposed to play in six games, and we saw he'd played 10. He tested it out and he felt good. That was the point."

Cano told teammates that the Yankees did not want him to aggravate a healing calf injury, according to a report on ESPNdeportes.com. His agent, Bobby Barad, said that Cano will continue to work out and get in shape for Spring Training.

The year has already been a long one for Cano, who established a new career high by playing in 160 games while helping the Yankees to 94 victories and the American League Wild Card.

A key part of New York's offense in 2007, Cano hit .306 while making 157 starts at second base, establishing career highs in runs scored (93), hits (189), triples (7), home runs (19), RBIs (97) and walks (39).

Cano also equaled his previous career high with 41 doubles, established during a breakout 2006 campaign in which he batted .342.

His RBI total led all AL second basemen in 2007. He was offered salary arbitration by the Yankees, along with three other players, on Dec. 12.

Cano is just one of several Yankees players to take part in Winter League action.

Right-hander Jose Veras has compiled a standout offseason with Leones del Escogido, while recently acquired right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo has been pitching well for Tiburones de La Guaira. Infielder Alberto Gonzalez is also playing for the Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.