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#pounditSaturday, September 26, 2020

Articles tagged: Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz will not need surgery for wrist injury

Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz is currently on the injured list with a wrist ailment that also forced him to miss time earlier in the season, but the Minnesota Twins slugger got some good news after visiting with a specialist on Monday.

Cruz has been diagnosed with a ruptured ECU tendon in his left wrist, which probably sounds a lot worse than it is. Fortunately, a doctor did not find any additional damage on Monday, and he will not need to undergo surgery. It sounds like the 39-year-old should return sooner rather than later.

Cruz has proven this year that he is still capable of producing at a high level despite his age. He has 32 home runs and 76 RBI in 78 games and currently boasts a career-high .650 slugging percentage and 1.034 OPS. The DH has been a huge part of Minnesota’s offense, so it’s obviously a relief that he is expected back in the near future.

The Twins entered Monday tied with the Cleveland Indians for first in the AL Central.

Nelson Cruz agrees to deal with Twins

Nelson Cruz

The Minnesota Twins were believed to be one of two finalists in the Nelson Cruz sweepstakes, and they agreed to a deal with the free agent slugger on Thursday.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Cruz will sign with the Twins on a contract worth $14 million for 2019.

Cruz proved in 2018 that he is still very capable of hitting for power, but his market was likely limited because he is 38. He batted .256 with 37 home runs and an .850 OPS in 144 games for the Seattle Mariners last year. While his drop in average last season probably indicates he is slowing down, Cruz should be a serviceable DH who can provide some pop in Minnesota.

Report: Nelson Cruz to sign with either Twins or Rays

Nelson Cruz

There are apparently two finalists in the Nelson Cruz sweepstakes.

Dominican Republic reporter Hector Gomez of Deportivo Z 101 said on Tuesday that Cruz is deciding between the Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi says that Cruz is also talking with other teams.

Cruz is 38, which may be limiting his market despite his ability to still hit for power. In 144 games for Seattle last season, Cruz batted .256 with 37 home runs and an .850 OPS. He averaged 41.5 home runs per season from 2014-2017, but the drop in average last season could be a negative sign about his future prospects. Being a DH also limits the amount of teams that could have interest in him.

Report: Nelson Cruz could get David Ortiz-like deal from Mariners for final years

Nelson Cruz

The Seattle Mariners seem to have an idea of how to approach the future with their aging but still productive slugger Nelson Cruz.

According to a report by Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times on Sunday, the Mariners have approached Cruz about the possibility of a contract setup similar to what retired Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz got in his final years with the team. Ortiz essentially played out his career on a one-year contract with vesting options for the next season.

Cruz, who is about to be 38, remains one of Seattle’s better hitters nonetheless with 16 home runs and 38 RBIs through 58 games (albeit on a .248 batting average). His current deal with the team will expire after the season.

Much like Ortiz, Cruz is now playing exclusively as a designated hitter as his career winds down, which will obviously limit his market come the winter. But he has more than demonstrated his worth during his time with the Mariners, and it’s remarkable how far the two sides have come in just the last few years.

Nelson Cruz leaves spring training game with quad injury

Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz left the Seattle Mariners’ spring training on Tuesday with a quad injury.

Cruz knocked in the Mariners’ first run in a game with the Colorado Rockies with a line drive single to right field. After his hit, Cruz had to be helped off the field with a trainer. Mariners reporter Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times explains what happened:

The Mariners have been crushed by injuries this spring training. Robinson Cano left Sunday’s game with a hamstring issue; Ryon Healy has been dealing with a hand injury; Ben Gamel has an oblique injury; Mitch Haniger has a hand injury; Felix Hernandez has been bothered by his forearm; and Erasmo Ramirez has a lat issue. They’re hoping many of the players will be back to full strength when the season begins.

Cruz, 37, has averaged 41.5 home runs per season over the past four years. Despite his age, his is still a big threat as a slugger.

Nelson Cruz stops All-Star Game for photo with Joe West (Video)

The 2017 MLB All-Star Game no longer counts for home field advantage in the World Series, and has subsequently been a bit more light-hearted than in previous seasons.

That was made quite obvious in the top of the sixth inning, when Seattle Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz stepped up to the plate with his cell phone and prompted catcher Yadier Molina to take a picture of himself with home plate umpire Joe West.

Why did this happen? Who knows. It may have had something to do with the fact that West, despite a less-than-stellar reputation, recently umpired his 5,000th career game. Perhaps, alternatively, Cruz just wanted to be funny. If so, it worked.

Mariners and Nelson Cruz agreed to deal last year but ownership backed away

Nelson Cruz Orioles

Nelson Cruz has been one of the best hitters in the American League throughout the season and has helped carry the Baltimore Orioles to the ALCS. The Seattle Mariners missed the playoffs by a game and, Friday, one writer wondered how they would have done if they had signed Cruz.

According to The Tacoma News Tribune’s Bob Dutton, the Mariners and Cruz had agreed to a one-year, $7.5 million deal last year with a $9 million team option for 2015. However, ownership backed away from the deal because of concerns over how Cruz would respond following his involvement with Biogenesis and 50-game suspension last year.

Clearly we saw that Cruz had no trouble responding and, in fact, excelled despite the suspension. He led MLB with 40 home runs and was third in the AL with 108 RBIs. He is also tied for the AL postseason lead in batting average, homers and RBIs.

The Orioles reaped the benefits after signing him to a one-year, $8 million deal that he grossly outperformed. Now they’re trying to sign him to a long-term deal, but it sounds like Cruz will want to test free agency. Dutton reports that the Mariners will likely be interested in signing him.

What’s interesting to me about this is the reason ownership backed away. If they morally felt it was wrong to sign a cheater, I would have understood that. But if they didn’t think he’d be successful because of the PEDs, then that just makes them poor evaluators. You can almost guarantee the contents of this report came from Seattle’s front office. It makes them appear smart to the fans for nearly getting a deal with a slugger and shifts the blame to ownership.

Forearm bash to Eye on Baseball

John Lackey brings up Nelson Cruz’s PED use after Cruz shells him

John-Lackey-beer-drinking-reports-retardedNelson Cruz had a huge night for the Baltimore Orioles in their 7-4 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night. Cruz went 5-for-5 including a homer, single and double of Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey. When Lackey was asked about Cruz’s performance after the game, he conveniently hinted at Cruz’s history of performance-enhancing drug use.

“I’m not going to comment on him,” Lackey said, via ESPN.com. “I’ve got nothing to say about him. There are some things I’d like to say, but I’m not going to. You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”

Nice try, John, but you already said plenty. Players who have never cheated have every right to feel bitter toward Cruz in the wake of his 50-game suspension last season. The 34-year-old slugger accepted his punishment and served the ban, but that doesn’t mean everyone is forced to forgive him.

That said, Lackey made himself look bad by pulling the “yeah, but he’s a cheater” card after Cruz teed off on him. Had Cruz gone 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against Lackey, we all know there would have been no mention of his involvement with Biogenesis.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was later asked about Lackey’s comments on ESPN Radio’s “Mike Lupica Show.”

“There’s so many insinuations, quite frankly, about people in every club. You usually don’t hear those comments after a shutout or something,” Showalter said. I mean [Lackey’s] doing really well. He’s up throwing 93, 95 again and he’s got one of the top ERAs in the American League, which with the DH means all of baseball. He’s a good pitcher, so God bless him. He was good yesterday.”

Lackey has always been outspoken about PED use. Last year, he said Alex Rodriguez should not be allowed to play while he appealed his 211-game suspension. This time around, Lackey’s comments just reeked of sour grapes.

Nelson Cruz does great crotch grab after Justin Verlander throws behind him (Video)

Nelson Cruz had a pretty funny reaction to Justin Verlander throwing behind him during an at-bat in Wednesday’s Tigers-Orioles game.

The Tigers were up 5-0 in the fourth when Cruz came up with Chris Davis on first. Verlander’s first pitch was in the dirt, and his 1-0 pitch whizzed behind the Baltimore DH. The wild pitch allowed Davis to advance to second, and it led home plate umpire John Tumpane to warn Verlander and both teams.

Was Verlander sending a message two days after Torii Hunter was hit by Bud Norris, or was it just coincidence? Who knows, but Cruz’s reaction was pretty awesome. He also got the last laugh in that matter, too, because he hit a 3-run home run off Verlander in his next at-bat to give him 11 for the season.

Nelson Cruz crotch grab

Now the video didn’t show this part, but Cruz reportedly (and by reportedly, I mean in my imagination) told Verlander to suck on his little Chinese nuts:

Forearm bash to Guyism

Rangers give Shin-Soo Choo Nelson Cruz’s number

Shin-Soo Choo

It seemed like a near certainty that Nelson Cruz wouldn’t return to the Texas Rangers after the team signed Shin-Soo Choo to a huge free agent deal last weekend. The team seemed to cement that fate by giving Choo Cruz’s old jersey number — 17.

During the news conference to introduce Choo on Friday, Rangers GM Jon Daniels also said he called Cruz’s agent to express his thanks. Daniels said he expects Cruz, who was suspended 50 games last year for a PED violation, to sign elsewhere.

The Seattle Mariners are said to be a top contender to sign Cruz. Whoever signs the 33-year-old outfielder will have to surrender a draft pick as compensation, which surely limits his appeal. Cruz batted .268/.327/.495 last season with 27 home runs in 109 games.

The Rangers have lost Ian Kinsler and Cruz this offseason, but they’ve gained Prince Fielder and Choo. Not a bad winter for them.