Nelson Cruz is Proving Why He Still Deserves a Roster Spot
Nelson Cruz, 42, signed a one-year deal with the Padres in late January. Many asked if Cruz could still produce at a level that would be worth a roster spot on the Padres loaded roster. Cruz has primarily been San Diego's DH when he's been in the lineup.
Yesterday was Nelson Cruz's 5th game of the season, and he's already hit 2 home runs. He's the 2nd-oldest player in modern MLB history (since 1900) to hit multiple home runs within his 1st 5 games of a season. Rickey Henderson did it at age 44 with the Dodgers in 2003.
The Padres steamrolled over the Braves last night in which Cruz was credited for six of the ten Padres runs. Since RBI became an official stat in 1920, Cruz (42 years and 282 days) is the third-oldest with a six-RBI game. Only Carlton Fisk (43-281) and Barry Bonds (42-360) were older.
(Stats via ESPN)
Nelson Cruz had this to say after the Padres 10-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
"It's nice, especially against the Braves," Cruz said. "They have a really good team, so it shows how deep we are as a team. To win three of four against the Braves tells a lot."
Cruz is currently batting .350/.381/.750 with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs in 20 AB. It's honestly nice to see the ageless Nelson Cruz shine to start of 2023. He's obviously a vet on a very talented Padres team. Not only is he playing a big role on the field, but he's one of the leaders off this ball club. All the players respect him and look for guidance through Cruz. He's going to be a big part of the Friar faithful.