Exit Interview: Tony Cruz

Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season.  This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.  Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.

This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre.  A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience.  No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking.  Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there.  Sign up today and give it a try.

Player: Tony Cruz

Season stats: 51 games, 129 PA, 13 R, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 4 BB, 25 K, .203/.240/.293

Hero/Goat: Hero 1

Overall grade: B-

Positives: It’s hard to say too much about Cruz, because being the backup to a catching machine is a tough thing.  For a while, it seemed like many fans could have done Cruz’s job, because he rarely got into the game.  However, he did occasionally give Yadier Molina a day off and filled in for a couple of weeks when Molina hit the DL.  Cruz can give you an occasional hit and is a pretty solid backup on the few times he’s called upon.

Negatives: Cruz isn’t someone you want playing every day, of course.  He struck out more often this season than in years past and his average dropped off as well.  He got almost exactly the same playing time as he did in 2012 with a drop off in a number of categories, which is a bit troubling.

Outlook: On a team that has a potential Hall of Famer behind the plate, Cruz is a pretty capable backup, a step up from the Jason LaRues and Gerald Lairds of the world.  The Cardinals will probably sign a veteran backup to be insurance, like they did with Rob Johnson this year, but when the season comes around Cruz will be sitting on the St. Louis bench again.

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