Nelson Cruz: “I’ve only ever played outfield and DH.”
Jerry Dipoto: “It’s not that hard, Nelson. Tell him, Wash.”
Ron Washington: “It’s incredibly hard.”
Dipoto: “Wait, don’t you work for the Braves?”
Cruz: “Seriously, how did you get in my living room, Wash?”
Nelson Cruz won the Edgar Martinez Award as the best DH in the game in 2017. Indeed, he’s absolutely mashed over the past three years, hitting 126 homers. The Mariners have seemed pretty darn happy with that. He played only five games in the outfield in 2017 and only 48 games there in 2016. Given that he’ll turn 38 this season, it’s pretty likely that the Mariners will remain fine with that for the duration.
Not that that’s stopping Cruz from broadening his horizons. He just posted an Instagram video of himself taking grounders at first base with the caption, “Versatility is important.”
I’m assuming this is more for fun than anything else given that (a) Cruz has never played even a third of an inning at first base; and (b) the M’s just traded for a Ryon Healy to man the position. But hey, you never know, right?