We rarely question a decision made by any Major Leaguer; let alone the Godfather of Diamond Hoggers Jay Bruce. But we’re about to do just that.
“I didn’t think I would get back and get this much playing time. I don’t feel like winter ball would benefit me,” Bruce said.
Now perhaps Bruce’s recent resurgence at the plate (.316, 4 home runs since returning from the DL) has helped him make this change of heart. However, if he comes out next season and fails to make drastic improvements he’s opening himself up for major criticism from a variety of sources for this decision.
How would you benefit from winter ball? Well, you’re doing one more thing to exhibit that you’re committed to your craft. You’re exhausting every avenue to get better. Besides, the Winter League begins at the end of November and only lasts a month. It’s not like Bruce would have to apply for citizenship in the country.
Hopefully it doesn’t matter. But if Bruce comes out next year and hits .240; it would be awfully hard not to reference back to this post and this decision. That month of winter ball would be a nice replacement for the 200 or so at bats he missed out on due to injury.