Ah, so that’s why they opened up a 40-man spot.

Today the Chicago Cubs claimed pitcher Frankie De La Cruz off of waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers. De La Cruz, 28, is a reliever who had modest success in 13 innings of work with the Brewers last year (2.77 ERA, 1.154 WHIP, 9 Ks – again, just 13 innings), and decent PCL (AAA) numbers last year, too (3.88 ERA, 1.409 WHIP, 8.3 K/9). De La Cruz was mostly a starter at AAA last year, for whatever that’s worth.

He’ll presumably jump right into the fray, competing for a bullpen spot.

The claim is an interesting one, as, on paper, I don’t see anything jumping out to distinguish De La Cruz from a handful of other 20-something right-handed relievers vying for a spot in the Cubs’ pen, including Marcos Mateo, Rafael Dolis, and Blake Parker, among others. De La Cruz is out of options, so he either makes the team out of Spring Training, or goes back on the waiver wire.

Update: I didn’t think about the Chris Bosio connection – the Cubs’ pitching coach was down at AAA Nashville last year in the Brewers’ organization. There, he would have seen a great deal of Mr. De La Cruz, and probably liked what he saw.

  • Spencer

    28 and bouncing between AAA and the bigs? I’ll hold my applause.

  • Deer

    terrific grip on that circle change. can’t teach that fellas, i like it

  • HR Trucker

    I see this a more prominent sign of Samardja going to the rotation and Jed thinking of more bullpen options

  • Kyle

    Is his name Spanish for Rodrigo Lopez?

    No, wait, that joke doesn’t work here…

  • CubFan Paul

    I wonder if Bosio likes him as a starter or reliever

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Who pitched the 8th inning for the Cubs today I looked at the boxscore and they didn’t have a player’s name that pitched in the 8th? Did really good whoever it was with 3 strikeouts in that inning

    • Kyle

      Looking at the play-by-play, it was the increasingly intriguing Lendy Castillo.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I’m pretty high on Castillo.  Given his lack of experience on the mound, he’s doing really well.  I’ll be interested to see how he’s performing in a year or two.  I’d not be surprised if we see him as a set up man or closer before he’s done.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Cool seen his stats so far and with this game he looks pretty good so far. If he keeps it up in the next 2 weeks I think he has a great chance on making the opening day roster being a Rule 5 Pick helps also

  • ty

    We kept a Rule 5 player about 3 yrs ago and it was not a good decision. Does anybody remember that player–so it takes riverboat gambler guts to o.k. it.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      David Patton. Wasn’t worth it, in that instance.

      The difference here, perhaps, is that Castillo kind of looks like he could actually help the pen.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    David Patton is the Rule 5 player I think you are referring to :)

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Marwin Gonalez is 1 for 16 so far for the Astros in spring training. Unless he comes around and gets on a hot streak I think he will be returned back to the Cubs

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      That would be nice.  Gonzalez looks like a backup / utility guy, but I think he could be pretty good in that role, given time.