The Dodgers knew coming into this season that third base might be their achilles heel in their lineup going into the season, after failing to bring somebody in to shore up the position. Yet, they had faith in Luis Cruz, who came up late last season and electrified the crowd with his timely hitting and clutch heroics that had Dodger Stadium rocking and chanting his nickname “Cochito.”
Regular Season Grade: F
Expectations were high for Cruz after an exciting end to his 2012 season, but wow did he fall short of those expectations. Late last season, Cruz came up to the big league club and hit .297 with 46 RBI and 31 doubles in 283 at-bats. The Dodgers expected more of the same if not, some regression in 2013 and he came out of spring training as the Dodgers starting third baseman.
Cruz was never able to get things together at the plate as he had an awful start to the season, hitting just .089 with only five hits and two RBI in 20 games in April. Because of this, Cruz saw himself taken out of the starting lineup in favor of Juan Uribe and his time with the Dodgers was winding down. Things didn’t get much better after that as he hit .127 with one home run and six RBI for the Dodgers before being designated for assignment on June 28.
However, Cruz landed on his feet and was picked up by the New York Yankees as they were dealing with several injuries on infield, but he continued to struggle at the plate. Cruz hit .182 with five RBIs in 16 games for the Bronx Bombers before he hit the DL and eventually was designated for assignment again on August 16.
Playoff Grade: Incomplete
There isn’t much to be said about Cruz in the postseason as he never got the chance to make it as an injury caused him to be let go by the Yankees and he couldn’t catch on anywhere else.
Overall Grade: F
Things looked very promising for Cruz as he ignited the Dodger Stadium crowd last season, but he simply couldn’t replicate that magic in 2013. He went from opening day starting third baseman to getting designated for assignment in late June. If he can find the swing that made him popular with the Dodger faithful during the 2012 season, he might have a chance to make it back to the bigs.
In case you missed it, here’s the “Mickey Mouse” antics from Adrian Gonzalez during the NLCS