It’s no secret that Kyle Seager struggled mightily in 2018 (.221 BA /22 HR). For much of the season, Seager was the preferred protection by M’s manager Scott Servais, to force pitchers to pitch Cruz honestly. The strategy was flawed, however, Cruz still found a way to excel. The ageless wonder from the Dominican Republic hit majestic blasts into the stratosphere on a semi-regular basis throughout the 2018 season.
No one will ever confuse Cruz with perhaps the greatest DH to ever perform in Seattle, or Major League Baseball in general, current Seattle hitting coach, Edgar Martinez. Cruz’ power numbers and ability to change the outcome of a game with a single swing of the bat is something the Mariners lack throughout their lineup.
He isn’t just must-see baseball but provides some desperately needed power to an offense that helped propel Seattle into the thick of a playoff race most wouldn’t have expected when the season began.
As with all older players, maintenance and rest are the keys to remaining both healthy and productive. Cruz, despite his obvious physical prowess, is no different than numerous players before him. Fortunately, it appeared that towards the end of the 2018 season the Mariners staff acknowledged this and made a concerted effort to get him some rest days.