Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 1/16/13
The Phillies added some depth to their spring roster by signing veteran right-handed reliever Juan Cruz to a minor-league contract, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Championship. Cruz, 34, had a 2.78 ERA last year but was wild and when he refused to accept a demotion to Triple-A, the Pirates released him. He’s pitched for seven teams in 12 years. He has a 4.05 career ERA, a 1.41 WHIP, and has struck out four more batters than innings pitched. He has a mid-90s fastball, and also uses a cutter, slider and changeup. Cruz’s best year was 2008 with the Diamondbacks, when he pitched to a 2.61 ERA in 51.2 innings, with 71 strikeouts. He’s also made 10 postseason appearances and finished two games. When the Phillies were swept in the 2007 NLDS by the Rockies, Cruz — pitching for Arizona — held Colorado hitless with eight strikeouts in four appearances in the next round. The only other notable thing to add is that Cruz was part of the package the Athletics sent to the Braves in December 2004 for Tim Hudson. It was Cruz, reliever Dan Meyer and outfield Charles Thomas for Hudson. Thomas had upside but never realized it. Really points out how long Hudson has been with the Braves. Can you believe he’s made 50 more appearances for Atlanta than Oakland?
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