Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Luis Cruz Leads Brewers Back Over Giants; Travis Hafner Hoping to Rebound

Players of the Day for Monday, March 14, 2011

American League

Leading a 13-hit attack, Cleveland's Travis Hafner singled and doubled twice in four at-bats as the Indians dropped the A's, 9-8.

Travis Hafner
Oakland, suffering its 10th loss against 7 wins, may have lost more than just an exhibition game. Closer Andrew Bailey left the game in the bottom of the 7th inning after facing three batters and recording only one out. Bailey had tightness in his forearm and will be evaluated on Tuesday.

Hafner, who scored twice and drove in a pair of runs, is coming off his fourth consecutive season of under-performance, having hit just 13 home runs with 50 RBI in 116 games last year. In 2006, Hafner smacked 42 homers and drove in 117 runs. His 24 homers and 100 RBI in 2007 were less than expected and the numbers kept falling off in subsequent seasons. He played in only 151 games in all of the 2008 and 2009 seasons, hitting 21 homers over the two-year span.

Hafner has had 11 hits in 32 at-bats this Spring for a .344 batting average.

National League

Luis Cruz
Luis Cruz, a middle infield prospect for Milwaukee by way of Pittsburgh (where else?), went 3-for-5 with a single and two doubles, leading the Brewers from a 3-0 deficit to a 12-8 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Cruz drove in four runs and scored three times, prompting speculation that he may challenge Yunieski Betancourt or Ricky Weeks for playing time at either second base of short.

Having spent 2008 and 2008 in limited roles with the Pirates, Cruz played in just 7 games with Milwaukee in 2010 but is getting a longer look this Spring as the Brewers seek to upgrade their lineup.

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