Cantu's errors have been no secret all season -- he's tied for third for the most miscues in the Major Leagues with 16 -- but he's never let that affect him at the plate. After playing in just 52 games between the Rays and Reds last season, the Marlins' third baseman has this season seen his numbers get back to where they were in his first two years in the big leagues.
The 26-year-old hit 28 home runs with 117 RBIs in his first full season in the big leagues in 2005. This year, Cantu is hitting .292 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs and is on pace to hit a career-high 30 homers and drive in 95 runs.
But the Texas native has impressed the Marlins ever since Spring Training.
"You look at the spring in which he had, and you were looking at yourself saying, 'Man, if he's able to give us even a portion of what he did in the spring ...'" third-base coach Bo Porter said. "And the season that he's putting together -- it's reminiscent of the season he had in Tampa Bay when he hit [28 home runs].
"It's great for him that he's been able to rebound his career, and it's great for us."
Saturday's 9-5 victory against the Phillies was a perfect example of Cantu's memory. During a crazy second inning, which marked the first time this season three runners have been thrown out at the plate in one inning, Cantu had three straight ground balls hit to him in the hot corner with a forceout in play at home. On one of those, he was given an error after initially bobbling it, then another when his throw to first base got past Mike Jacobs, allowing Pedro Feliz to get to second base.
But after the game, he shook it off in true Cantu style.
"They gave me two errors on one play? I've never done that before. That was kind of cool," Cantu said, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. "You just bounce back and hit the ball. Take it out on the ball a little bit."
That's exactly what Cantu did.
In the bottom half of the inning, Cantu came back and ripped a single into left field. On the night, he finished off 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Over his last 13 games, Cantu is hitting .431 (22-for-51) with four home runs and 10 RBIs.
"Errors are part of the game," Porter said. "They happen. And you want your guys to say, if they do make an error, 'Man, I'm ready for the next ball to come to me,' and not carry it from the field to the plate.
"[Cantu is] one of those guys that he's going to give you all [he's] got."
Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.