The San Diego Padres designated slugger Nelson Cruz for assignment on Tuesday amid a flurry of roster moves on Tuesday.
The seven-time All-Star and designated hitter who is in his 19th major league season, is batting .245 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 49 games.
In other moves, the Padres put right-handed starter Michael Wacha (shoulder inflammation) on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to Sunday) and optioned right-hander Domingo Tapia to Triple-A El Paso.
Padres manager Bob Melvin said that the decision to designate Cruz was a “tough one” but was made with versatility in mind.
“He’s a big impact in the clubhouse. Across the board, throughout the league, the respect that he brings, playing against him from afar, it’s fantastic. He comes as advertised — leadership, all of the above,” he said.
“I think it’s more about versatility here now. We have a couple guys in he and [Matt Carpenter] that basically just DH. We needed to be able to give some guys some days off a little bit more, need a runner off the bench, need to have a little bit more versatility. So unfortunately, we had to make this move today.”
Wacha, who missed a start last month due to a shoulder injury, is 8-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 15 starts this season – his first in San Diego. Melvin said he’s hopeful Wacha will be able to return after the All-Star break.
El Paso also recalled left-hander Jose Castillo, right-hander Matt Waldron, and infielder Matthew Batten.