This morning, the Phillies and relief pitcher Juan Cruz rescinded an agreement to a minor league contract, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. As it turns out, Cruz never actually signed the dotted line; Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets that Cruz and the club decided to part ways in wake of the club’s signing of Chad Durbin.
Cruz is not a closer, but in the wake of yesterday’s news about Ryan Madson, he could be a good fit for the Angels. One way to build a strong bullpen is by throwing a ton of darts at the board and seeing what sticks. The Angels have some very strong talent in the back of the pen with Sean Burnett and Ernesto Frieri, but the remaining roles in the bullpen are a bit unclear.
In 2012, Cruz pitched to a 2.78 ERA over 35.2 innings with the Pirates. He walked a few too many batters for comfort (4.8 BB/9), but he was able to strike out a fair number of batters too (8.3 K/9). Command has always been an issue for the right-hander, but he is definitely worth an invite to Spring Training.
If the club were to sign Cruz to a minor league deal, he could compete for a spot with the cadre of other arms competing for spots. Depth was something that last year’s bullpen lacked, so adding more talent to an already packed group can only help.