Nelson Cruz powers his way into history books

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cruz headshot.JPGAccording to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz joined an elite club of power-hitters Wednesday when he hit his sixth home run of the season. 

The Rangers have only played eight games and Cruz has homered in six of those games — a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by any major league hitter since 1952.  Alex Rodriguez had six homers through eight games back in 2007, but had a multi-homer effort along the way.

Cruz is batting a ridiculous .444 this season with a .515 on-base percentage and a 1.259 slugging percentage.  He has two doubles, a triple and 12 RBI.  The Rangers, meanwhile, are trying to improve to 5-3 tonight in Cleveland.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.