Blue Jays’ Cruz Demoted
Jose Cruz Jr., struggling in his first full season with the Toronto Blue Jays, was sent to the minors Saturday.
Cruz, 24, hit .248 with 26 home runs and 68 runs batted in 104 games last season for Seattle and Toronto and finished second in the American League rookie-of-the-year voting.
But the outfielder played himself into a part-time role this year, hitting only .214 with three homers and 14 RBIs.
“We need to get him going. Instead of spot playing, he’s going to play every day. He needs to get going and he’s young and it’s good for him,” Blue Jay Manager Tim Johnson said.
“Many people, believe me--Eric Davis, Matt Williams, Todd Hollandsworth--Carlos Delgado had eight home runs but went down and came back and hasn’t seen the minor leagues since. So it’s something that needs to be done and it was done,” he said.
A disappointed Cruz didn’t feel like talking after he found out he was headed to triple-A Toronto.
“To tell you the truth maybe I shouldn’t say anything at all,” Cruz said.
Darryl Strawberry, once a patient at the Smithers Alcoholism and Treatment Center, will get an award from the New York facility at Yankee Stadium today.
The Yankees’ outfielder-designated hitter will get the Smithers Award for his “prestigious service in the field of drug and alcohol abuse.”
Saturday was African-American Heritage Night at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals wore replica uniforms of the Negro League’s Kansas City Monarchs, and the Tigers wore uniforms of the Detroit Cubs, a semipro team of the 1930s.