Cruz is out of the lineup Sunday against the Rockies, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The Mariners weren't inclined to use the lead-footed Cruz in the expansive outfield of Coors Field this weekend, as he'll hit the bench for the third straight game. If Sunday's game remains competitive, Seattle manager Scott Servais should find an opportunity to deploy Cruz as a pinch hitter, as he did in Saturday's 4-1 loss.
Cruz is not in the lineup against Colorado on Friday, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports. As expected, Cruz was withheld from the starting nine with Friday's game being played sans a DH spot in a National League park. Expect to see him utilized off the bench as a pinch hitter throughout this series.
Cruz is likely to be limited to pinch-hit duty during the upcoming three-game series against the Rockies in Coors Field, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Cruz has exclusively served as a designated hitter this season, a role that's unavailable over the next three games due to the series taking place in a National League ballpark. He also hasn't logged even semi-regular playing time in right field since the 2016 campaign. The veteran slugger's bat is a natural fit for the thin air of Coors Field, but manager Scott Servais is apparently resigned to only deploying it in a pinch-hit capacity to close out the first half.
Cruz went 1-for-3 with a two-run single in a win over the Angels on Wednesday. The slugger's fourth-inning hit to center brought home Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger, closing out the scoring on the night. Cruz is headed to the All-Star Game for the third time in four Mariners seasons, an honor he earned by slashing .289/.407/.628 with 12 home runs and 24 RBI over his 35 games since June 1 (145 plate appearances). The torrid stretch resuscitated a mostly moribund season that began with Cruz generating a .225 average -- along with a modest five homers and 16 RBI -- through its first two-plus months.
Cruz drew three walks and scored twice in a win over the Rockies on Sunday. The Rockies treaded carefully around the slugger, but all that did was set up RBI opportunities for Ryon Healy, who subsequently drove Cruz in with a double and a three-run home run. Cruz has gotten off to a rocky start in July and is hitless in his last nine at-bats, but Sunday was already his second three-walk day of the new month. Despite his prodigious power, the veteran slugger's contributions sometimes stem from having sufficient plate discipline to not stray outside the strike zone, as was the case Sunday.