McClendon doesn't think back spasms caused Cruz's power outage
Nelson Cruz hasn't hit a home run in two weeks, but the Seattle Mariners' slugger's manager Lloyd McClendon doesn't think a recent injury has anything to do with it.
Speaking to Greg Johns of MLB.com on Sunday, McClendon was adamant that the back spasms Cruz experienced earlier on the M's road trip didn't negatively affect his swing: "No, the back just started hurting. I think home run hitters hit them in streaks. He's swinging, and the bat speed is there. He's not favoring it all. He's fine."
McClendon pointed to Cruz's batting average of .283 during the time in which he hasn't hit any home runs as a sign that it's a temporary situation: "He's doing a nice job. He's using the entire field to hit, he's not pulling off. He's the type of hitter, when he gets hot, they come in bunches. When he cools off, he still gets his hits, just not as many home runs."
While the Mariners continue struggling to reach their supposed potential as a team, Cruz still has a gaudy stat line of .323/.381/.591 on the season with an A.L. - best 18 home runs and 40 RBIs.