American League home run leader Nelson Cruz is out of the Mariners’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Indians after leaving Tuesday’s game with back spasms.
In in his absence Seattle is using Mark Trumbo in right field and Seth Smith at designated hitter versus right-hander Trevor Bauer.
Cruz led the league with 40 homers last season while playing on a one-year deal with the Orioles and then cashed in as a free agent, signing a four-year, $57 million contract with the Mariners. So far so good, as the 34-year-old right fielder/designated hitter is batting .326 with 18 homers and a .988 OPS in 58 games.
One day after trading Welington Castillo the Diamondbacks in the Mark Trumbo deal, the Mariners have called up catcher Jesus Sucre from Triple-A Tacoma while designating outfielder Justin Ruggiano for assignment.
Acquired from the Cubs over the winter, Ruggiano is batting just .214/.321/.357 with two home runs and three RBI over 81 plate appearances this season. However, he has produced an .823 against left-handed pitchers, which is basically what he was brought in for. Rickie Weeks has been worse in part-time duty, but the Mariners decided to keep him around instead.
The 33-year-old Ruggiano is making a $2.505 million salary this season, but he could draw some interest on the trade front.
Quite a splash here for the early-June market …
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Mariners — who were just swept at home by the Yankees — have acquired slugger Mark Trumbo and left-hander Vidal Nuno from the Diamondbacks in exchange for catcher Welington Castillo, right-hander Dominic Leone, middle infielder Jack Reinheimer, and outfielder Gabby Guerrero.
The six-player swap has been confirmed by the Diamondbacks, who needed to clear a spot in their outfield for Yasmany Tomas with third baseman Jake Lamb due back next week from a foot injury.
Trumbo adds some more power to a Mariners lineup that has greatly underperformed in 2015. The 29-year-old had registered a .506 slugging percentage with nine home runs and 23 RBI in 46 games this season for Arizona, though that has come alongside a weak .259 batting average and .299 on-base percentage.
Trumbo is a somewhat overrated player — the dingers can blind you — but it’s not like the Mariners gave up much to get him. Castillo was an expendable catcher and Leone has struggled mightily this year at the major league level. The two prospects in the deal — Reinheimer and Guerrero — are not of the top-100 variety. Of note, perhaps: Guerrero’s uncle is Vladimir Guerrero. Gabby has had a rough year at Double-A.
Trumbo is making $6.9 million this season and he’s arbitration-eligible for the final time in 2016.