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Los Angeles Dodgers Finally Designate Luis Cruz for Assignment

A Move Two Months Overdue

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Los Angeles Dodgers Finally Designate Luis Cruz for Assignment
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Luis Cruz bats against the San Diego Padres on July 13.

COMMENTARY | It took nearly two months longer than it should, but the Los Angeles Dodgers finally gave Luis Cruz his walking papers.

I know it isn't good practice to take any form of pleasure in a person losing his job, but it's different when it comes to athletes. The fact is, Cruz didn't help the Dodgers nearly enough to remain with the big league club. The fact it took this long really makes no sense.

The Dodgers designated him for assignment on June 28 -- a year ago to the day the Dodgers signed Yasiel Puig. Cruz is on waivers for 10 days and there are now three options he and the Dodgers:

  1. The Dodgers can trade Cruz to a team that claims him with said team picking up his current contract (Major League minimum)
  2. The Dodgers can grant Cruz his outright release after 10 days
  3. Cruz can accept his assignment -- likely to Triple-A Albuquerque

I'd be shocked if any MLB team puts in a waiver claim on Cruz. He has zero value. In fact, he probably has negative value thanks to his .127/.175/.169 triple slash and -0.4 wins above replacement. The only reason his WAR is not worse is because of his stellar defense at third base and shortstop.

The Dodgers could release Cruz, but there's no guarantee a team would sign Cruz to even a minor-league contract.

Most likely, Cruz accepts his assignment and takes over as the Isotopes' starting third baseman.

Cruz displayed zero ability to his the ball (at all, really) with authority, posting a Major League-worst 32.7 percent pop-up rate (minimum 100 plate appearances). That's awful. Cruz's high-water mark for batting average at anytime this season was .140. I'm confident a decent percentage of 2013 MLB draft picks could hit better than that. Cruz is 28 and was the true definition of "flash in the pan."

His three-month stretch last season was unexpected and nice, but it was a fluke. Many Dodger fans didn't want to realize, admit and/or accept it, but it's true. It's hard to blame some because he was such a bright spot in 2012, but when one looks at the numbers, a decline could be seen coming a mile away. I'm not sure anyone expected Cruz to be this bad, but here we are.

The Dodgers will be better off without Cruz. His designation also opens up a 40-man spot and, with trade season here, that will be filled in the next month.

Dustin Nosler has followed the Dodgers from Northern California all his life. He's the founder of Feelin' Kinda Blue, a Dodger blog. He also co-hosts "Dugout Blues," a weekly Dodger podcast. Find him on Twitter @FeelinKindaBlue.

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