"Pitching has got to be the foundation in the organization. Everybody wants a good pitcher. The more pitchers we have, the stronger our organization will be."
- Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals General Manager

Monday, May 26, 2008

LOOK OUT FOR: Eulogio de la Cruz

i have a huge hardon for this pitcher, and he's been a favorite of mine for about a year and a half, ever since i noticed his scouting report in baseball america's 2007 prospect handbook (where de la Cruz was ranked 6th in the tigers organization). that report said that de la Cruz featured a heavy mid 90s FB that compared favorably to that of zumaya's and verlander's, while also featuring a knee bending curve. what i came to learn, though was that also featured a GB inducing changeup that is quite effective against LHBs.

the numbers backed that up, as de la Cruz had a GO:AO ratio > 2.5 (average is 1.2) in the florida state league in 2006, and it has settled in around 2.25 in the year+ since.

de la cruz got the second callup of his career this past sunday to pitch the back end of a day night doubleheader, and he pitched about as well as could be expected of a pitcher making his first career start in the majors on just 3 days rest. 3 IP, 2 ER, 1 K, 4 BB, 1 2B.

going forward, this one start should emphasize the importance for de la Cruz to get his fastball under control to the point where he can count on it in a 1-1, or a 2-0 count. that's about the only thing he can take out of this game, because putting him in a position to make that start on 3 days rest was really limited the chance of de la Cruz getting anything approaching a quality start on his record.

i blinked, by the way. i missed that he was called up, and didn't realize he'd made a start until he was sent down today.

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