Did the Brewers Just Make A Mistake?
By Lou Olsen
Very rarely do I fret over losing a minor league player. Often times, I just accept it as a casualty of the game. This one was different…
I am of course talking about the Brewers putting Frankie De La Cruz on waivers. Then, I am of course also talking about the Cubs picking him up off of waivers.
Now, I could not really think of a better way to do this for myself, than a Pro’s and Con’s list. Personally, I like De La Cruz. He gives the team some much needed depth in that bullpen. But, since I do not run the organization, this is something that is out of my hands.
My biggest fear is that FDLC goes to the Cubs and turns into the next Nelson Cruz. That trade haunts me to this day. Obviously.
So, I am going to wiegh the Pro’s and Con’s of the Brewers losing FDLC to the Chicago Cubs…
– His Spring had been rough. Ok, really bad. FDLC gave up 7 runs in just over 3 innings of work this Spring. That ballooned his ERA to a less than re-assuring 18.90.
– The guy is not a spring chicken any more. At 27 years old, he needs to be performing well on a more consistent basis. That makes the ceiling on his career much lower.
– You clear space on the 40-man roster. This could be great if the team uses that spot wisely. Do they go out and get a free-agent, or do they just add an existing player to the list?
– He threw to 21 batters this spring and had 2 wild pitches. That one is pretty self-explanitory.
– The guy hoped the Cubs would pick him up. This is a direct quote from FDLC, while talking to Chicago reporters:
"Well, as soon as they put me on waivers the first team I was thinking about was here."
That sort of rubs me the wrong way.
– Brewers management did not seem to care. For contrast, here is a quote from Brewers GM Doug Melvin:
"He was a guy that we liked for depth, and we wish we could have had him staying. But in this situation, with a player who is a little bit older, I’m glad he can stay in the big leagues with somebody."
Well, unless Doug is putting up a tough front, he does not really give two poops about FDLC leaving.
– And did I mention that he is kind of old
– This guy can pitch. This is a fact. I never said that he pitched well, but he can certainly eat innings and record outs. Last season he pitched in 11 games and had a 2.77 ERA. That was as a member of a 2011 NL Central Championship team.
– He helped anchor the starting rotation for the Nashville Sounds in 2012. FDLC’s stats were not that impressive, but still pretty solid. Went 7-6 and had a 3.88 ERA. At least you know he is durable.
– You lose depth. Plain and simple. This bullpen is not so good and deep that they can afford to not have this guy around.
– Dale Sveum and Chris Bosio already know him. This could be a big Con. They obviously saw something that they both liked. I happen to hold those two men in very high regards. The Cubs jumping on him so quickly makes me very unsettled. Unnerved…if you will.
Clearly this was a one sided affair. The Brewers probably made the right move. FDLC was a nice depth piece to have, but we certainly have a lot of young arms deserving of the opportunity to pitch in the big leagues. Maybe he will be a terrific bullpen pitcher for the Cubs, but right now…this was the right move by the Brewers front office.
‘Tis the season for players going away. It was about this time last year that the Brewers started their see-saw relationship with Brandon Boggs. Still wish they would have made a bigger push for that guy, but I must move on.
Best of luck FDLC. Your number 63 in my program, but …well probably worse than that in my heart. I liked you, put the proof is in my disgusting blue and red pudding.