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July 27, 2005

Jose Cruz Jr.

In 1996, Jose Cruz Jr., as a member of the Lancaster Jethawks, signed a baseball for me. I always thought that was nice of him - and he's always been on my radar since.

Today, I just saw that he was DFA'ed.

You know, if you use the finer sabermetric measures, you will see that he was about a league average batter in 2002, 2003 and 2004. And, this year, allowing for the filters that sabermetrics provide, he has been slightly below average with the stick so far. Not good - but, not flat out terrible.

Now, you have to wonder why he's been on four different teams in the last four years. But, if you can get past that, and if you feel that he's a decent glove/arm in CF, and you're the Yankees, would you not take a chance on this player? He's only 31-years-old.

Unless someone knows that something has now robbed him of his skills, or knows for a fact that he's a clubhouse cancer, why not pick him up - esp. considering that he'll come cheap?

Posted by Steve Lombardi at July 27, 2005 11:40 PM


Steve, funny you should mention Cruz Jr. Someone did at Bronx Banter, so I looked up his defensive stats as a CF:

87 Rate2
.766 zone rating
1.91 range factor

Just for comparison, here are Bernie's numbers as a CF:
93 Rate2
.837 zone rating
2.30 range factor

Add in that Cruz Jr. also missed a month of the season with lower back problems, and - cheap or not - I say "pass".

Posted by: Shaun P. at July 28, 2005 10:38 AM

Thanks - I had no idea he was that subpar.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at July 28, 2005 10:41 AM

You're welcome, Steve. I too was shocked when I saw those numbers. You'd think a speedy guy would be OK in CF, but I guess not.

Posted by: Shaun P. at July 28, 2005 11:48 AM

IIRC, I think he even won a GG with SF, albeit in RF.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at July 28, 2005 11:58 AM

Palmiero won a GG @ DH...

Posted by: Raf at July 28, 2005 12:48 PM

That's right, and Bernie won a couple for CF......


Posted by: Steve Lombardi at July 28, 2005 12:50 PM