Juan Cruz has surgery after being cut by Royals

Leave a comment

Released by the Royals last week, Juan Cruz won’t be finding a new home this season because he’s undergoing surgery today to remove a cyst from his shoulder.
Kansas City gave up a second-round pick and $6 million to sign Cruz to a two-year deal last winter, which looked like a sound move considering his 2.88 ERA, .199 opponents’ batting average, and 158 strikeouts in 112.1 innings over the previous two seasons.
Unfortunately he had a 5.50 ERA in 55.2 innings for the Royals and based on today’s surgery perhaps Cruz was simply damaged goods the whole time. Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Juan Cruz is hoping to be healthy enough to pitch in winter ball, but he’ll almost surely have to settle for a minor-league contract next season.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

Duane Burleson/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.