Nelson Cruz called me aside recently to let me know that he intends to play next year. Of course he does.
Why wouldn’t he? Over the last week, nobody has hit as well as Cruz, who won Player of the Week honors by hitting .500 and posting a 1.500 OPS.
While he didn’t say, word is Cruz actually would be interested in multiple years. And again, he still ranks among the better power hitters going. So that makes sense. Even with his slow start and a few weeks missed due to minor injuries, he’s among league leaders in slugging categories now.
And, even with the handicap of playing in Seattle’s Safeco Field the past four years, Cruz is the leader in home runs in baseball across the last 10 years (Albert Pujols is second). As one friend put it, “If he could hit ‘em in Seattle, he could hit ‘em anywhere.”
Cruz has been putting up amazing numbers lately.
He hit seven RBI in four innings against the Red Sox recently, but he seemed as proud of hitting a triple as anything else he's done lately. Despite less than great speed (according to Statcast, he is the slowest player in the majors this year – though that may have something to do with barely being able to move while injured), he now has a stolen base and a triple this year.
There was absolutely no reason to think he wouldn’t play next year – and beyond. Apparently, someone told him I suggested he would retire (it was actually someone else, as it turns out).
Well, it’s clear to see now he isn’t nearing the end.