Cruz returned to the Cardinals' organization as a minor-league catching instructor Friday, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
Cruz spent five of his seven big-league seasons in a Cardinals uniform but had been away from the organization and away from a reliable major-league job since 2015. He'll end his professional career with a .216/.256/.308 line in 272 games.
Cruz was released by the Reds on Thursday.
The veteran backstop appeared in just nine games for the Reds this season, hitting .154/.154/.308 over those contests. He'll look to latch on elsewhere as organizational catching depth.
Cruz was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Thursday.
The Reds brought in veteran catcher Curt Casali from the Rays via trade Thursday, and Cruz was the corresponding roster move. The 31-year-old hit just .154/.154/.308 across nine games with the big club prior to being sent back to Louisville. He'll continue to serve as organizational catching depth with the Bats.
Cruz had his contract selected by the Reds on Tuesday.
With Devin Mesoraco being traded to the Mets, Cruz will join the Reds as their backup catcher. The 31-year-old was hitting just .170/.268/.255 through 14 games with Triple-A Louisville and owns an unimpressive .218/.260/.308 line across six major-league seasons (263 games).
Cruz was reassigned to minor-league camp Sunday.
Cruz had a shot to crack the Opening Day roster as a reserve catcher, but the Reds have apparently decided they will not carry three backstops to open the season. He'll begin the year with Triple-A Louisville and could return to the bigs if either Tucker Barnhart or Devin Mesoraco goes down with an injury.
The Reds are contemplating keeping Cruz on the big-league roster to begin the season as a third catcher, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. "I think the world of Tony Cruz," manager Bryan Price said. "I think he's a big league player in my opinion. He's certainly been a topic of discussion. That frees up Mesoraco or Barnhart to pinch hit on the days they're not playing early.
Cruz hasn't hit much whenever he saw big-league duty with the Cardinals, though as Price later pointed out in the article, he was Yadier Molina's caddy with the Cardinals, which meant precious little playing time on a regular basis. Still, this is his age-31 season; there's not much in the way of upside here.
Cruz signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training with Cincinnati on Wednesday.
Cruz played in 51 games for Triple-A El Paso within the Padres' organization in 2017, hitting .280/.341/.458 with seven home runs and 27 RBI. The 31-year-old last appeared in a big-league game with the Royals in 2016, and saw a solid chunk of playing time as Yadier Molina's backup for the Cardinals in the five years prior to being in Kansas City. Looking ahead, Cruz might have a tough time filling the void of backup catcher in Cincinnati, due to the fact that manager Bryan Price reiterated that he only wanted to keep two backstops on the roster earlier this week, which will be Tucker Barnhart and Devin Mesoraco. Barring any injuries, Cruz will serve as additional depth for the Reds in Triple-A next season.
Cruz was reassigned to minor-league camp Wednesday, Padres radio broadcaster Bob Scanlan reports.
Cruz might be in a new organization, but he'll fill the same role that he did last season with the Royals as a depth option at catcher at the Triple-A level. The 30-year-old batted .264 with seven homers and 55 RBI for Triple-A Omaha in 2016.
Cruz signed a minor league deal with the Padres on Tuesday, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The 30-year-old spent most of his time in Triple-A in 2016, slashing .264/.347/.387 across 363 plate appearances. He was called up for four games, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts over that span. Cruz owns a .218/.260/.308 line across parts of six major league seasons and will likely serve as organizational depth for the Padres in 2017.
Cruz was released by the Royals on Wednesday.
He was designated for assignment earlier this month and the two sides agreed to part ways. It is hard to fault Cruz for wanting to explore other options, as Salvador Perez is not going anywhere, and the team has made it clear that they like Drew Butera as the backup catcher. Cruz has a career .224/.283/.323 slash line in 638 big league plate appearances and has graded out as a league average defender behind the dish.
The Royals recalled Cruz from Triple-A Omaha on Friday.
Cruz has appeared in just three big league games up to this point after playing in 69 games for the Cardinals last year, but he will serve as the Royals' third catcher during September. Cruz posted a .264/.347/.387 slash line over 92 games with Omaha this season.
Cruz was optioned to Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Cruz was serving as the club's third catcher and received the call-up with Salvador Perez nursing a minor injury, but the 29-year-old went hitless in three at bats and will now head back to the minors. He's hit a decent .278/.352/.417 at the Triple-A level, so Cruz could see more time in the majors if Kansas City finds itself pressed for catching depth.
Cruz was recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Sunday, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
Cruz will help fortify the Royals' depth behind the plate after Salvador Perez was diagnosed with a quad contusion following Saturday's game. While Perez will avoid a DL stint for the time being, he's still expected to miss 7-to-10 days, so Cruz may be able to pick up a start or two over the next week. Cruz will act as the top backup to Drew Butera until Perez is ready to return.
Cruz was optioned to Triple-A Wednesday, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Cruz was third on the Royals' depth chart behind Salvador Perez and Drew Butera so it seems they are comfortable going with a two-catcher platoon entering the regular season. A career .220 hitter in the MLB, Cruz will likely remain with Triple-A Omaha during the 2016 season and could see a call up if Perez or Butera go down with an injury.
Drew Butera appears to be the leading candidate for the backup catcher job over Cruz, the Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals traded for Cruz in the offseason, but it appears Butera's defense will win him the backup role. Cruz will likely be headed to Triple-A.
Cruz and the Royals agreed to terms on a one-year, $975,000 deal Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.
The Royals acquired Cruz from St. Louis last month after the Cards signed Bryan Pena. Cruz will go from backing up Yadier Molina to backing up Salvador Perez in Kansas City, and Cruz figures to have only a minor role given Perez's status as one of baseball's most used catchers. Perez played in 142 games last season.
Cruz was traded from the Cardinals to the Royals on Wednesday.
Cruz became dispensable following the Cardinals' signing of Brayan Pena, and the backstop will now serve as the backup to Salvador Perez rather than Yadier Molina. While Yadier Molina generally sees a lot of starts behind the plate when healthy, Salvador Perez is one of the most heavily used catchers in the league (142 games last season), limiting any potential production from Cruz barring an injury.
Cruz will start Game 4 of the NLDS after it was announced Yadier Molina was a late scratch from the lineup, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Cruz will take over behind the plate and hit eighth in the order for Molina, who was forced out of the lineup with a nagging injury in his thumb. With the veteran catcher's status up in the air moving forward, Cruz could see a significant increase in playing time if the Cardinals stay alive in the postseason.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was forced to exit Tuesday's game against the Indians in the ninth inning due to back stiffness, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"Yadi tightened up a little bit," manager Mike Matheny told MLB.com. "I don't know if it was the cold or what it was exactly, so we'll have to keep an eye on him."
Molina was 2 for 4 and scored a run before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the person of backup catcher Tony Cruz. Cruz would likely draw the start on Wednesday if Molina is unable to go.
Although he exited Sunday's game with light headness, third basman Matt Carpenter is in the Cardinals' starting lineup on Monday, batting second.
Kolten Wong received a rest and was not in Sunday's lineup for the Cards but returns Monday, playing second base and batting seventh.
Struggling catcher Yadier Molina, who's been dealing with knee soreness, will not start Monday as Tony Cruz gets the nod at catcher and will hit eighth.
|6/21/2018 vs Chicago|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2010||AFA-Palm Beach Cardinals||46||181||21||51||16||1||1||25||19||33||0||2||.282||.348||.398|
|2017||AAA-El Paso Chihuahuas||51||168||25||47||9||0||7||27||12||43||0||0||.280||.341||.458|