Prior to the second game of their series against the Marlins, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly created speculation about third baseman Luis Cruz.
Cruz hasn’t played since May 8 and is hitting an awful .090 for the season. Many believed that last season was an indication that Cruz figured everything out, but his start this season suggests otherwise.
Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times broke the news:
Luis Cruz’s roster spot in jeopardy? Mattingly: “That’ll be something we address when we get there.”
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) May 11, 2013
In place of Cruz, Juan Uribe and Nick Punto have been getting the past few starts, but the third base position seems like a black hole for offensive production.
The question is: What is Mattingly waiting for to happen before making a decision on Cruz? The third baseman is out of options and with the progress of Dee Gordon, he could be facing no playing time when Hanley Ramirez returns.
With few options, the Dodgers might have to turn to Cruz at some point and hope he regains his stroke from last season. While it was going to be difficult for Cruz to maintain his .297 average last season, expectations were high that he could keep hold of the third base job.
If the Dodgers continue on their recent trend downward, Cruz might be the first move of many that management will make.