Could Seattle Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz get some time in the infield in 2018?
In a vague Instagram post on Wednesday morning, Cruz posted a video of him fielding a ground ball at first base with the message “Versatility is important.” He tagged the Mariners’ official Instagram page in the post.
In 1,425 games over 13 seasons, Cruz, 37, has never played in the infield. He’s played 998 games in the outfield (877 of those in right field), while his other appearances have been as a designated hitter, pinch hitter or pinch runner.
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Last season, Cruz was the Mariners’ designated hitter for 147 games. He hit .288 with 39 homers and led the American League with 119 RBIs. He was an All-Star, won his second Silver Slugger and won the Edgar Martinez Award as the league’s top DH.
But at his age and with his history of leg injuries, a move to the infield would seem to make sense. It would also help the Mariners out if Cruz could back up projected starter Ryon Healy at first.
Could it happen? Who knows. But keep an eye out in spring training for Cruz and where he’s playing.
Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14 for the Mariners. The full squad is due in Peoria, Arizona, on Feb. 20.