Just before the Los Angeles Dodgers opened up Spring Training, another Cuban joined the roster as Erisbel Arruebarrena signed a five-year, $25 million contract. With Arruebarrena on board the Dodgers added depth to their middle infield.
Arruebarrena came being highly regarded for his defensive talent, but needed to work on his batting ability. As a natural shortstop, the Dodgers didn’t need him at the major league level right away with Hanley Ramirez and sent Arruebarrena to Double-A Chattanooga as the season began to develop more.
Injuries to the lineup forced the Dodgers recall Arruebarrena in May. Following his brief time with the Dodgers, Arruebarrena bounced around the minors while also suffering an injury in July placing him on the disabled list.
Upon return, Arruebarrena initiated a brawl while playing for Albuquerque and was sent to Rancho Cucamonga the following day. In all, he hit .259 while in the minors while also appearing in 22 games for the Dodgers where he was primarily used as a defensive replacement.
He ended up having 41 at-bats with four RBIs and a .195 batting average in Los Angeles.
Although he struggled at the plate during his time with the Dodgers, Arruebarrena had an impressive run in Albuquerque. After being optioned in June, Arruebarrena’s bat was on display with the Isotopes, including a stretch where he registered a hit in 13 straight games raising his batting average as high as .362.
The shortstop situation highly hinges on what happens with Ramirez and his free agency. Should Ramirez find another team next season, Arruebarrena would be competing with Miguel Rojas and Corey Seager for shortstop duties.