Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that 21-year-old right-hander Norge Ruiz, called “arguably the best pitching prospect in Cuba” by Baseball America, has left the country and is looking to sign with an MLB team.
Baseball America international prospect analyst Ben Badler’s scouting report on Ruiz from February noted his “good pitchability and average to above-average stuff across the board.”
Last month Badler rated Ruiz as the eighth-best player still in Cuba and projected him as a solid mid-rotation starter, but he figures to need some time in the minors before being ready for a big-league rotation. Expect a bidding war, although because Ruiz is only 21 years old he’ll be subject to MLB’s international spending limits and that could end up costing him $30 million or so.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).