Hello, my name is: Nelson Cruz, Mariners designated hitter
We’re introducing some of the Mariners’ offseason additions and lesser-known players during spring training. Here’s a look at Nelson Cruz.
• Position: Designated hitter/outfielder
• Height/weight/age: 6-3/230/34
• Hometown: Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic
• How acquired: Signed to four-year, $57 million contract
What he’d be if he was’t a baseball player: A mechanic. “Since I remember, 8 or 9 years old, I was working as a mechanic in the shack,” Cruz said, referencing his uncle’s business in Monte Cristi. “Not just cars, there used to be a lot of tractors and heavy machines … I used to be good, not anymore. I think I forgot a few things.”
Favorite dish made by his mom: Sancocho, a traditional Dominican soup with a recipe that varies from family to family. “A bunch of meat and a bunch of vegetables also … The spices that she puts on, it tastes really good,” he said.
Favorite offseason activity: Fishing, though Cruz is used to a different type of fishing than Washingtonians may be familiar with. “I used to fish (tilapia) with hands, so we would go into the lake and just dive,” he said. “Make sure you touch the fish, you grab it and go up and throw it away and go back down and try to do it again. Try to catch as many fish as you can.” He’s since graduated to more traditional fishing, including ocean trips.
Experience he’s looking forward to while living in Seattle: Again, fishing. “I want to spend some time doing it. Hopefully I can find a house that is close to the lake,” he said.