Nuts’ new Bopper Cruz makes an immediate impact with pitcher chips

West Palm Beach, Florida (AP) —Nelson Cruz soon showed Washington Nationals that it could bring more than a booming bat to its new team.

After standing in the batter’s box when Erick Fedde threw a live bullpen, Cruz approached a right-handed man with a message: he was tilting the pitch.

“I saw something before he threw the last pitch,” Cruz said Thursday. “I quickly noticed the coming pitch, even before the pitch. I told him to make sure you did this the right way. Don’t change the pattern — grab the ball How to do it. “

The 41-year-old Slugger has officially signed a contract worth $ 15 million for one year and $ 28 million for two seasons.

The seven-time All-Star, Cruz has 449 home runs with an average batting average of .277.

“He is a man I admire not only for his actions in the field, but also as a person outside the field,” said manager Dave Martinez. “I think I’m really lucky to have him.”

Washington hopes that Cruz, who won the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award in Major League Baseball last year, will be able to make a profit in the batter’s box and clubhouse.

This year’s recruitment of National League designated hitters has given the Nationals the opportunity to sign Cruz. Lobbying from young star Juan Soto also helped.

“Come here,” Cruz said Soto told him. “Let’s do something special. Let’s win.”

The Dominican Republic’s indigenous people, Cruz and 23-year-old Soto, became friends through an all-star game and a charity appearance.

“It would be fun to see him hit behind or in front of him,” Cruz said of Soto.

Cruz leaves power on the plate.

He has surpassed 30 home runs in each of the last seven seasons of Major League Baseball. His total of 86 RBIs in Minnesota and Tampa Bay last year was at least 90, marking his sixth consecutive season of victories.

Cruz rushed into the majors in Milwaukee in 2005, recording only eight at-bats. They are his only turn at bat and as a national leaguer.

“I think that’s definitely the biggest challenge. Basically, I’m facing a new pitcher I’ve seen once in my career,” Cruz said. “I need to trust the Scouting Report and watch the video.”

Cruz hit 32 home runs last year, hitting .265. Soto’s 29 home runs led the nuts.

Cruz has a salary of $ 12 million this year, and the deal includes $ 16 million for mutual options and $ 3 million for buyouts in 2023.

Cruz, signed as DH, took some ground balls in first baseman during his first training with the Nationals on Thursday.

“In fact, he looked good over there,” Martinez said. “I started scratching my head. I said,” Hey, you never know. ” And he started laughing. “


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