Luis Cruz is a human being with a family and friends and feelings, and know that I’m aware of that. That said…
LUIS CRUZ IS DFA’DDD YESSSSS FINALLLY YES YES YESSSS! FINALLLY THANK YOU FINALLY!
Now I feel kind of bad about that, because by all indications Cruz was a nice enough guy who had a surprisingly fun run over the last six weeks of last season, making him a flashpoint between “uh, he was stuck in the minors for 12 years for a reason” and “WHOOO CRUZ IS BEST!” With the Dodgers unable to upgrade at third base and unwilling to commit — at first, anyway — to Juan Uribe, they reluctantly turned to Cruz again, and it just really couldn’t have gone worse.
And by “couldn’t have gone worse,” I mean that – he’s the worst hitter in baseball this year. If not for the endless infield injuries to Hanley Ramirez and Mark Ellis and Jerry Hairston and the failures of Dee Gordon and Justin Sellers to stick, Cruz would have been gone long ago. Today, finally, as Scott Van Slyke is reinstated is the day. In the last 20 days, Cruz has five starts and one hit. It’s time. It’s beyond time.
I’ve always found this to be a pretty difficult situation, as I’ve said a few times here going back, because it put me in a tough spot as far as rooting interest. Obviously, I’m a Dodger fan, so I wanted more than anything for him to produce and help the team win. But I’m also a baseball writer, and pretty much everything I know about this game said that he was almost certainly going to be a flash in the pan.
For the sake of winning Dodgers baseball, I sincerely hope we’re wrong about Cruz in 2013. For the sake of being able to trust any of our objective analysis in the future, it’d be a small measure of relief if we’re not. And for the sake of having different types of Dodger fans not be at each other’s throats, I hope it’s a happy medium — preferably one that involves having Cruz being a useful utility player while a more reliable option is in the starting lineup.
That didn’t happen, unfortunately. Of course, I’d have been more than happy to eat crow every single day if it had meant better production out of the third base black hole.
But I’ll say this… there’s a better than even chance we haven’t seen the last of him. The Dodgers have ten days to trade or release Cruz, and I can’t imagine anyone is going to bother to check in on him. They can then try to send him back to Triple-A, and if he accepts, he’ll probably go there and mash in Albuquerque, because that’s what happens there. Then he’ll come back up when rosters expand in September, be good for three weeks, and we’ll start this whole cycle again in the winter. Just you wait.
For now… finally.