The San Diego Padres have decided that the Nelson Cruz experiment is over, as he was designated for assignment this afternoon by the club.
The #Padres made the following roster moves today:— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 4, 2023
◦ Recalled LHP José Castillo, RHP Matt Waldron & INF Matthew Batten from El Paso
◦ Optioned RHP Domingo Tapia to El Paso, placed RHP Michael Wacha on the 15-day IL (right shoulder inflammation, retro to 7/2) & DFA’d DH Nelson…
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Cruz was DFA’d considering he’s making only $1 million this season and isn’t very valuable to the team because he is limited in what he can do on the field.
At least Matthew Batten, who was called up in place of him, can play multiple positions on the field and pinch run if needed. Cruz essentially was a pinch hitter and a DH. The Padres can have Matt Carpenter, Rougned Odor, Brandon Dixon and other regulars do that.
The 43-year-old finished his Padres tenure with a -0.2 bWAR, hitting five home runs and driving in 23 in 143 at-bats.
Wacha going on the IL (shoulder inflammation) is probably going to concern some Padres fans but like Cruz, it shouldn’t be super surprising (obviously for a different reason). Wacha has been dealing with shoulder fatigue and recently had to miss one of his starts so San Diego is using the upcoming break to make sure he’ll be fully ready to go when he returns.
“We’re trying to use the All-Star break for it,” Bob Melvin told the media pregame today. “Probably the timing’s good to be able to do this for him. We had to skip him and he pitched good the next time. The velo may have been down a tick but I think the timing of it with the All-Star break is the prudent thing to do.”
Wacha owns a 2.84 ERA this season through his first 15 starts.