Cruceta on the market

The Detroit Tigers designated reliever Francisco Cruceta for assignment after one disappointing month. Brought up from AAA Toledo following his visa approval and Jason Grilli’s ouster, Cruceta had a 5.40 ERA over 13 appearances. He struck out almost a batter per inning, but often lacked command over his fastball (10 BB over 11 and 2/3 IP). His numbers were real bad with Detroit, but he should get looks from other teams looking for bullpen projects. Cruceta has mid 90s velocity and one of the nastier splitters in baseball. But without command of a fastball, that splitter is useless. Cruceta needs to be around a pitching coach not named Chuck Hernandez who can’t get wins out of Justin Verlander or Jeremy Bonderman. He still hasn’t been traded or cut so he could remain a Tiger, but he is an intriguing pitcher who should garner some attention.

His replacement LHP Casey Fossum has been equally bad. He was good in AAA (3-0, 1.96 ERA). In two MLB appearances though, he has a 135.00 ERA (1/3 IP, 5 ER). In his defense, he struck out a guy with his ‘Fossum Flip’ 55-62 MPH curveball. That is a really fun pitch to watch.

Manager Jim Leyland on Fossum: “I always thought he’d make a good relief pitcher.”

Tigers designate Cruceta (Detroit News)

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