We’ve had these kind of thoughts before. Heck, we had them with Juan Uribe all the time last year, and not only did it never come about, we’re actually glad Uribear has stuck around.
But Scott Van Slyke is poised to be activated from the disabled list Friday, according to Austin Laymance of MLB.com, and – barring a new injury to the team, of course – there’s finally no one else to vacate a spot among the position players besides Cruz.
The Dodgers could keep Van Slyke in the minors, but they seem committed, and most rightly so, to taking advantage of Van Slyke’s power bat off the bench.
“With Scott, he allows us to go all right-handed (in the outfield) if we want to against a tough lefty,” Don Mattingly told Gurnick.
Who else could go off the roster? Not regulars or veritable regulars A.J. Ellis, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis, Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp. Not fellow reserves Tim Federowicz, Jerry Hairston Jr., Nick Punto or Skip Schumaker. Not anyone from the bullpen, which is at the now-conventional number of seven relievers, unless Brandon League somehow gets stuffed on the disabled list with sprained talent.
No, the arrow is pointing directly at Cruz, who has a .175 on-base percentage and .164 slugging in 128 plate appearances this season, has five hits in the first 26 days of June and hasn’t played since June 19. And keep in mind the likelihood that after designating him for assignment, Cruz could easily clear waivers and end up back in Albuquerque, where everyone wants him.
There’s still a couple days for things to change, but you’ve been warned. Or teased.