Report: Dodgers to sign Cuban SS Erisbel Arruebarruena

That's an 80 name if I've ever seen one.

That’s an 80 name if I’ve ever seen one.

About 30 seconds ago, Enrique Rojas of ESPN reported that the Dodgers are about to sign Erisbel Arruebarruena. And we already have a full post written on him. Funny how that works sometimes.

If you don’t know how to pronounce Arruebarruena, you’re not alone. Once Vin Scully shows us how it’s done, then we’ll know.

The Dodgers are set to sign the 23-year-old Cuban shortstop, something Stan Kasten — of all people — alluded to at Dodger Stadium on Monday night in a town hall-style meeting with select season ticket holders.

Arruebarruena, 24 on March 25, is an all-glove shortstop. Think Jose Iglesias, if you want to compare him to a fellow countryman. Iglesias showed he has at least some hitting ability last year, whereas Arruebarruena could hit even less than Iglesias was projected to.

For the Dodgers, Arruebarruena profiles as a slick backup middle infielder — something they desperately need heading into the 2014 season. However, he could — and probably should — begin the season in the minor leagues so he can get used to professional baseball in the states. I hear the Lookouts could use a shortstop until Corey Seager is promoted.

Baseball America ranked him as the 10th-best prospect in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Scouts have expressed concerns about his ability to put the bat on the ball consistently.

“The bat, however, is a major source of concern with Arruebarruena, even more so than with Iglesias and more along the lines of Marlins Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. A righthanded hitter, Arruebarruena has a long swing, struggles with pitch recognition, swings through breaking balls in the strike zone and is prone to chasing too many pitches out of the strike zone. He has a pull-oriented approach and minimal power, so several scouts are skeptical he could hit better than .220 or hit a .300 on-base percentage against major league pitching.”

With a plus-plus glove, a .300 on-base percentage might be enough for him to be a regular, especially with the Dodgers’ potentially above-average offense.

But let’s be real. Arruebarruena isn’t going to displace Ramirez (who, yes, still isn’t signed beyond 2014), and is equally unlikely to displace the latest Cuban signee Alex Guerrero at second base (as long as Guerrero hits well enough). So, barring anything extremely unforeseen, he’s going to be a backup infielder — at least early in his career.

Since Arruebarruena played six years in Cuba’s top professional baseball league and is older than 23, he isn’t subject to MLB’s international spending limits (ala Yasiel Puig, Hyun-jin Ryu and Guerrero).

Most were hoping the “mystery man” would be Aledmys Diaz (who isn’t eligible to sign until Feb. 19), but this signing shouldn’t preclude a Diaz signing, who also wouldn’t fall under the international spending limit. But the Dodgers, like their outfielders, can only have so many infielders.

Arruebarruena was been scouted by the Mets late last year, a team hurting for a shortstop. Seriously, if Stephen Drew didn’t have a draft pick tied to his contract-to-be, he’d probably be a Met.

Keep on bringing in the talent. With as many (cheap) lottery tickets as the Dodgers have bought in the last couple years, they have to hit on some of them, right?


About

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called “Dugout Blues.” He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.


1668 comments
Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

has there been any word an arruebarruena yet? numbers and years and whatnot. 

Boxxybabee
Boxxybabee

Down look down there. Shit got dark.

TheReggieHurley
TheReggieHurley

i just watched some simmons highlights. dam.... that arm... and everything else too.

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

Basketball is a slippery slope that leads to discussions of murder and assaults.

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

oh man Molly is dangerous. Good to know.

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

LOL THIS UNDERCOVER COP IS AT CREPE VINE

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

OH YES. NBC BAY AREA IS TALKING ABOUT MOLLY AND ITS DANGERS

steelmohawk
steelmohawk

who is still fucking around on here?

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

I feel much better talking about basketball when Goat isn't here judging me

ryus_hadouken
ryus_hadouken

Is it wise to keep Arruebarruena on the bench? Shouldn't Arruebarruena be in the lower class (AA, maybe?) until late call ups? That way his glove and bat are sharpest.


Is there anything wrong with that route?

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

To VND's point, though, I have a ton of friends who are diehard Warriors fans. When they learn I am a Laker fan, they ask if Kobe or Lebron is better. When I tell them Lebron, they are shocked. Apparently, many Laker fans think Kobe is invincible. I mean, that's cool and it's biased. Tevs.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Nothing concrete.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

arreuuu arruuu areuuuugonnashowuptocampsoon? 

Barney (Not Darwin)
Barney (Not Darwin)

@ryus_hadouken I think they're planning on starting him out at Double or Triple A as the starting shortstop there and then they'll call him up.

Lobo
Lobo

@Purps the Dream I think Kobe is a great player, probably even best of his generation.  But yeah, he just can't compare to LeBron in terms of talent level.  I mean, LeBron basically single-handedly got the Cavs to the NBA finals in his last year there.  They had almost the same team the next year, minus him, and they were the worst team in the NBA

TellMyWifeISaidHello
TellMyWifeISaidHello

@Purps the Dream  Kobe vs Lebron debate was always a bit silly. Completely different type of players. Lebron is a freak and his style of play is greatly rewarded. Kobe is the more fundamentally sound with the killer instinct. Both very good

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@TheReggieHurley @Purps the Dream  Kobe is Kobe: above average (not great) shooter, good athleticism, good defense, very selfish with the basketball at times, has streaks where he can't miss but also streaks where he can't make anything

Hall of Famer? Sure. Probably should have more than 1 MVP. Top 5 of all time? Stretch.

TheReggieHurley
TheReggieHurley

@Purps the Dream  lebron = best defender in nba. kobe nvr did that. lebron = pass the ball when he is supposed to. kobe = jacks up stupid shots. 

wen kobe shoots too much we call him a ball hog. 

wen lebron does the right thing and passes the ball we say he has no killer instinct. It doesn't matter if he doesn't take the game winning shot, passing the ball to a team mate who has a better look is the right decision.  i <3 kobe though. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Yep.

Barney (Not Darwin)
Barney (Not Darwin)

@ryus_hadouken @Barney G So far I've read that they're keeping him at SS for now. A lot of people think he'll end up at third due to his size. It'll depend on what the Dodgers do with Hanley too.

ryus_hadouken
ryus_hadouken

@Barney G Will he keep on developing as a SS or will the management guide him to another IF position?

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

@ryus_hadouken @TellMyWifeISaidHello"For the Dodgers, Arruebarruena profiles as a slick backup middle infielder — something they desperately need heading into the 2014 season. However, he could — and probably should — begin the season in the minor leagues so he can get used to professional baseball in the states. I hear the Lookouts could use a shortstop until Corey Seager is promoted."

And he'll be a backup early in his career because 2B, 3B and SS are all occupied by older, more expensive and more experienced (sans Guerrero) players.

TellMyWifeISaidHello
TellMyWifeISaidHello

@ryus_hadouken @TellMyWifeISaidHello  it also says that "However, he could — and probably should — begin the season in the minor leagues so he can get used to professional baseball in the states." Sorry I think we came to the conclusion he starts in the minors a long time ago and forgot it said that in the article

Barney (Not Darwin)
Barney (Not Darwin)

@ryus_hadouken @TellMyWifeISaidHelloThat's because realistically he'll be behind Hanley at SS on the depth chart. The only way Arruebarruena plays short for the Dodgers this season is if Hanley's injured, has the day off or Arruebarruena comes in as a late inning replacement.

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@TheReggieHurley @Purps the Dream  like every NBA superstar, Kobe failed early on in his career. Those air balls in Utah, for instance.

It's sad for Kobe because his peak was from 2005-2008. But his stubborn behavior prevented him from really taking advantage of that. You'd think the rape case would humble him. Instead, it took another 4 years before he admitted he can't do everything by himself and expect to win.