As reported by the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Thursday that they have suspended Cuban infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena for the remainder of the 2015 season for ”repeated failures to comply with his contract.”
Touted by many as another premier defensive force when he signed his initial contract five year, $25 million contract in February 2014, Arruebarrena showed promise in his short time with the Dodgers’ four minor league teams. His longest and most successful stint was with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque in 2014, where he hit an attention-grabbing .333, while sporting a perfect fielding percentage at second and third base, and a .974 overall in 26 games.
That production did not carry over to his short time with the big league club, where struggled to hit just .195, while committing three errors in 22 games of limited action. The Dodgers designated him for assignment back to Triple-A in December, but the 25-year-old Cuban has yet to appear after a stay at extended spring training to open 2015.
Aside from the performance issues, there appears to be a great concern about his maturity and decision making among the Dodgers’ front office. Many fans will recall the July 26, 2014, brawl that marred a spirited game between the Albuquerque Isotopes and Reno Aces, leading the ejection of Reno manager Phil Nevin and nine players.
The brawl was sparked by Arruebarrena’s frustration-filled outburst toward Aces catcher Blake Lalli, culminating in the bench-clearly melee. During the investigation, video surfaced showing Arruebarrena removing his helmet and launching it toward journeyman first baseman Mike Jacobs.
The move saves Los Angeles roughly $3 million, since they are absolved of covering Arruebarrena’s salary while he is on the league’s suspended list. Should he choose to appeal, the possibility remains for him to return to Triple-A should newly elected commissioner Rob Manfred see fit.