SARASOTA, Fla. – Nelson Cruz is happy with how his first spring with the Orioles is going.
“I feel like I’m getting good at-bats, and I’m seeing a lot of pitches. So far, everything is good. I’m healthy, and I feel comfortable and the team has welcomed me,” Cruz said.
Cruz, who is 10-for-30 (.333) so far this spring, has six doubles among his 10 hits.
He didn’t sign with the Orioles until spring training began, but doesn’t feel as if he’s behind.
“I was working pretty intensely down in the Dominican, and I feel like it’s paying off,” Cruz said.
Cruz played on postseason teams from 2010-12 with Texas, and he has 14 postseason home runs in 36 games. He thinks that this team has similar talent.
“It’s a deep lineup. A lot of us can do a lot of stuff on the bases,” Cruz said. “There are a lot of ways we can do damage to other teams.”
He thinks the Orioles have the talent to win the division.
“No doubt. It’s all about how badly you want to win,” Cruz said. “You don’t see these types of teams together as a group every year. You have to take advantage of the situation.”
When Cruz came, there was some question about how his new teammates would greet him in light of last year’s 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis mess.
“It’s been a blast. Each of them has welcomed me like family,” Cruz said. “Off the field, they’ve invited me to everything. It’s nice to have this kind of team.”