UPDATE (July 3, 7:10 p.m. PT): Erisbel Arruebarrena was a late scratch from High-A Rancho Cucamonga’s lineup Friday night, which was his first game with the team after spending time with the Arizona Fall League Dodgers.
While the Los Angeles Dodgers have struck gold with international signings in recent years, Cuban infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena’s tenure with the club has been rocky to say the least.
Signed to a five-year, $25 million contract in February of 2014, Arruebarrena has bounced in and out of the Majors, incited a benches-clearing brawl, and more recently was briefly suspended for the entire 2015 season.
Arrubarrena appealed the decision and had the suspension reduced. He joined the Arizona League Dodgers on June 30, though his time there didn’t last long as High-A Rancho Cucamonga announced Friday the 25-year-old versatile infielder was added to their roster. Joining Arruebarrena with the Quakes is fellow infielder Tim Locastro.
To clear room for the duo, the Quakes placed Dillon Moyer on the disabled list and promoted Brandon Trinkwon to Double-A Tulsa. Known more for his glove than bat, Arruebarrena played in 22 games for the Dodgers last season, batting .195/.244/.220 with four RBIs; he struck out 17 times in 45 plate appearances.
Over 68 Minor-League games last season ranging from rookie ball to Triple-A, Arruebarrena hit .259/.304/.417 with six home runs, 32 RBIs and 91 strikeouts in 272 plate appearances.
With the acquisition of Jimmy Rollins, Corey Seager waiting in the wings, and other infielders in the organization, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi pointed to the club’s depth as reasoning behind attempting to Arruebarrena during the offseason.
The versatility Kiké Hernandez brings and Hector Olivera’s signing figures to make Arruebarrena seeing extended time in the Majors this season unlikely. Assuming the Dodgers don’t suffer a rash of injuries, Arruebarrena’s best chance of joining the club is when rosters expand in September.