It was inevitable. Suck first half of the season, the Twins were going to have to say goodbye to Nelson Cruz, the 41-year-old phenom, best hype guy and in my opinion best player on the team.
It didn’t take long for him to capture the love from Rays fans.
Here’s what he did his first game with Tampa.
He went 1-4 with 2 R 1 BB 1 HR 1 RBI Friday night.
The return was good on this trade. The Twins picked up two advanced prospects who have nice minor league numbers.
RHP Joe Ryan is 25 years old, 6’2 and averages 12.82 K per 9 innings. He has a 2.70 ERA from 2018-2021 in the minors. He will join the St. Paul Saints and likely see some big league action this year.
Ryan is actually in Tokyo right now set to compete in the Olympics.
RHP Drew Strotman is 6’3 and will be 25 on September 3. He has not had as much success in the minors as Ryan, but still has put up some good numbers. In 179 minor league IP he has 171 K and given up 6 HR with a 3.12 ERA. He was 7-2 with AAA Durham this year. He has yet to officially be assigned to the Saints.
Both are from California originally. Both have promise and could be big assets for the Twins.
Tampa Bay also acquired minor league pitcher Calvin Faucher, a RHP who was currently with AA Wichita.
The Twins will take on the Rays one more time this year on August 13, 14, and 15 in Minnesota.
Except for that series. Go Rays!
Cruz is a seven-time All-Star with 400+ home runs. He quickly became a fan favorite and will be a huge asset to the Rays lineup. I hope he gets the ring he deserves.
In the words of Roy Rogers:
Happy Trails to Cruz, until we meet again — and he hits a home run or three.
Maybe he can come join the Twins again next year. That would be a delight.