Dodgers' Arruebarrena Back On The Sidelines
LOS ANGELES—The Dodgers have suspended shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena—again.
The 26-year-old Cuban infielder began the season at Double-A Tulsa but was disciplined for "repeated failure to comply with the terms of his contract,” according to director of player development Gabe Kapler. The suspension (without pay) is intended to cover the remainder of the 2016 season.
Kapler offered no specifics, using the same wording the Dodgers used a year ago when they also tried to suspend Arruebarrena for the 2015 season. That suspension was eventually reduced to 30 days, and he wound up playing in 53 games, mostly at Tulsa.
Arruebarrena is in the third year of a five-year, $25 million deal he signed in February 2014.
The Dodgers called Arruebarrena to the majors four times in 2014, and he appeared in 22 games, mostly as a defensive replacement for Hanley Ramirez.
Arruebarrena has not played in the majors since Andrew Friedman took over as president of baseball operations, and the Dodgers outrighted him off the 40-man roster in January 2015.
Friedman would not talk about the Arruebarrena suspension. But he said he doesn’t believe major league clubs have handled the influx of Cuban players well. The expectations for professional behavior are drastically different in the U.S., he said.
"I think we take things for granted (and) just assume that people know certain things, especially something that has so many different definitions,” Friedman said. "I feel like, as an industry, we’ve failed the Cuban players. We sign them for a lot of money and fast-track them to the major leagues . . .”
Professional standards are different in the U.S., according to Friedman. "As an example, I think they show up at 6 o’clock for a 7 p.m. game,” he said. "It’s just totally different.”
• Lefthander Sean Burnett and righthander Dale Thayer, two of the veteran relievers signed to minor league contracts this spring, exercised May 1 opt-out clauses, so the Dodgers released them from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
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• The Dodgers purchased 24-year-old Taiwanese outfielder Pin-Chieh Chen from the Reds and assigned him to high Class A Rancho Cucamonga. He swiped 21 bases last season in the Cubs system and owns a career .351 on-base percentage.