Luis Cruz has fallen a long way from the stabilizing force at third base he was late last season. He may soon be falling further.
After more than 1,200 games and 10 years in the minor leagues prior to last season’s success with the Dodgers, Cruz doesn’t want to consider a move back to the minor leagues. His .090 batting average, his fifth straight game not in the starting lineup and the fact that infielders Mark Ellis and Jerry Hairston Jr. are soon to come off the disabled list could equal a demotion for the player that began the season with expectations to be the everyday third baseman.
“I don’t even think about the minors, cause that’s negative thinking,” Cruz said. “If there’s one thing I know, I can hit. I’ve been fighting for my spot my whole career, so I just got to be ready the next time they give me a shot.”
Asked about Cruz’s status with the Dodgers, Mattingly punctuated his statement with a reference that included himself.
“You’ve got to produce or you’re probably in danger,” he said. “All of us.”