BY SPNW Staff 04:52PM 11/09/2017

Cruz captures Silver Slugger as AL’s top DH

Designated hitter Nelson Cruz won another American League Silver Slugger award Thursday after hitting 39 homers and leading the league in RBIs with 119.

Nelson Cruz won another Silver Slugger award Thursday. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Nelson Cruz of the Mariners Thursday won a Silver Slugger as the top designated hitter in the American League, joining Edgar Martinez (four times) as the only Seattle DHs to win the award. The 37-year-old Cruz, also a Silver Slugger winner in 2015, hit .288 with 91 runs, 28 doubles, 39 home runs, 119 RBIs, a .375 on-base percentage, a .549 slugging mark and a .924 OPS in 155 games in 2017.

Cruz led the American League in RBIs while also ranking fourth in home runs, fifth in slugging and fifth in OPS. He had a club-record 38 home runs as a designated hitter, surpassing Martinez (37) in 2000.

Cruz, who played in his age-36 season in 2017, is tied with Kansas City’s Hal McRae (133 RBIs, 1982) as the second-oldest player to lead the American League outright in RBIs. Only Martinez, who was 37 when he collected a league-leading 145 RBIs for the Mariners in 2000, was older.

Cruz led the Mariners in games, runs, home runs, RBIs, walks, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS and extra-base hits. He set career-bests in RBIs, walks and on-base percentage.

Cruz recorded at least 100 RBIs for the second consecutive season and the third time in his career. He is one of 10 in club history with multiple 100-RBI seasons. Cruz also made his fifth career appearance in the All-Star Game (also: 2009, 2013-15), his second as a Mariner (2015).

Silver Slugger award winners are determined by a vote of MLB managers and coaches. Selections are based on a combination of offensive statistics including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s offensive play.

Mariners off-season timeline

Oct. 31: Outrighted RHP Casey Lawrence to AAA Tacoma.

Nov. 2: Claimed INF/OF Andrew Romine off waivers from Detroit; reinstated RHP David Phelps and LHP Drew Smyly from the 60-day disabled list; announced that 1B Yonder Alonso, OF Jarrod Dyson, INF Gordon Beckham, C Carlos Ruiz and 1B Danny Valencia had become free agents; declined 2018 options on RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Yovani Gallardo.

Nov. 3: Claimed SS Zach Vincej off waivers from Cincinnati.

Nov. 7: Outrighted Vincej to Tacoma.

Nov. 9: DH Nelson Cruz wins American League Silver Slugger award after hitting 39 home runs leading the league with 119 RBIs.


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