Colorado Rockies vs Seattle Mariners: 5 players to watch
By Brady Vernon
Nelson Cruz, DH/RF, Seattle
With half of the four-game series in Colorado, the Mariners will have to put Nelson Cruz in right field to keep his bat in the lineup. Most baseball fans have seen David Freese’s game tying triple in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. Nelson Cruz’s defensive play on that hit wasn’t the prettiest sight.
However, Cruz isn’t known as the premier player that he is for his glove. It’s for his bat. The Seattle DH is currently leading the American League in RBI with 41 on top of 12 home runs. Cruz has put up 40-plus home runs and 90-plus runs batted in for three straight years now and is headed toward a fourth at his current pace.
With 296 career home runs in his 13-year career, he will always be a threat to hit the long ball. Fortunately for the Rockies, all but five career at-bats for Cruz have been for American League teams. This is a large reason why the American League RBI leader has only gone deep at Coors Field twice in his career.
Another thing going the Rockies way is the timing of this series. Since May 17th, Cruz is 3 for his last 32 but two of those three hits are home runs. While the Seattle clean-up hitter is in a slump, good hitters never stay cold for long. With 214 of his career home runs against right-handed pitchers, starters Tyler Chatwood and Antonio Senzatela must be careful.