9:32pm: Cruz has once again suffered a left wrist strain, Hayes tweets. He’s day-to-day for now.
8:42pm: Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz left the team’s crucial matchup against the AL Central rival Indians on Thursday with an apparent left wrist injury, Dan Hayes of The Athletic was among those to report. The Twins replaced Cruz with C.J. Cron.
Cruz’s departure is particularly notable because a strained left wrist forced him to the injured list earlier this season. The ageless slugger sat out from mid-May until early June because of the ailment, but the time off didn’t have a negative effect on him. On the contrary, Cruz has slashed a phenomenal .295/.385/.652 with 35 home runs in 372 plate appearances, making him one of the most valuable Twins and among the best free-agent signings of last winter.
Minnesota inked the 39-year-old Cruz to a $14MM guarantee in the offseason, and the team looks sure to exercise his $12MM club option for 2020. In the meantime, the Twins will continue trying to hold off the charging Indians, who entered Thursday’s contest two games behind. Of course, doing so will become all the more difficult if Cruz has to head back to the IL.