Reader Blog: Juan Cruz
The question comes up in this discussion. Who is Juan Cruz?
Well, after a fairly long career, I think we know what we have here.
Cruz is a fly ball pitcher who strikes out a ton and walks way too many. His tendencies make him generally hard to hit but when he does get hit, he often gives up home runs and needs to blow people away to get out of tough spots.
Unfortunately, his most recent performance (2009 I'm talking about) suggests that he is still doing all the bad things he does but has seen a marketed drop off of his K rate:
K rate by year:
So, if he's closer to a 12 K's per 9 IP pitcher, the Cubs should take a shot, if he's closer to the 7 K per 9 guy from last year, forget it.
One point in his favor is he's K'd 11.8 batters per 9 in 2010 before being released.
I think he's a better pitcher than Justin Berg. As a matter of practice, that is the only hurdle he has to jump. If there's even a little chance he can be the dominant pitcher from 2007 and 2008, he's worth the minimum salary.
I agree with Kurt. Let's give him a try.