Orioles’ fans hearts jumped into their throats in the top of the third inning on Sunday afternoon when Astros starter Scott Feldman drilled Nelson Cruz in the left hand with a fastball. Cruz was in some very obvious initial pain, but stayed in the game to run the bases. He was taken out when the inning ended with David Lough moving from left to right field and Delmon Young entering the game in left field.
Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that x-rays came up negative for Cruz, which should allow Baltimore residents to breathe a great sigh of relief. The Orioles are listing Cruz as day-to-day with a left hand contusion. The Orioles have an off-day on Monday and open up a three-game series on the road against the Rangers on Tuesday. Cruz says he will see how he feels on Monday to determine if he can play on Tuesday.
Cruz is the major league leader in home runs and RBI with 20 and 52, respectively. He is slashing .314/.384/.672.
Yesterday free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki held a workout in California and representatives from at least eleven teams were on hand, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo. Among the clubs present: the Giants — who were said to have a “heavy presence,” including team president Farhan Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy — the Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, White Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and Pirates.
Your first reaction to that may be “Um, really? For Tulowitzki?” But a moment’s reflection makes it seem more sensible. We’re so tied up in thinking of a player through the filter of their contract and, when we’ve done that with Tulowitzki over the past several years, it has made him seem like an albatross given the $20 million+ a year he was earning to either not play or play rather poorly due to injuries.
It was just the contract that was the albatross, though, right? An almost free Tulowitzki — which he will be given that the Blue Jays are paying him $38 million over the next two seasons — is a different matter. If you sign him it’ll be for almost no real money and he stands a chance to be an average or maybe better-than-average shortstop, which is pretty darn valuable. You might even get one quirky late career return-to-near-glory season from him, in which case you’ve hit the lottery. If, however, as seems more likely, he just can’t get it done at all, you’re not out anything and you can cut him with little or no pain.
Eleven teams think he’s at least a look-see. I bet one of them will offer him a major league deal. Maybe more than one. He’ll probably have his pick of non-roster invites to spring training. I can’t see the downside to at least doing that much.