Rumored to be able to throw 160 kph (100 mph), Eulogio De La Cruz was released by the San Diego Padres in the middle of last week, and has now signed for 15 million yen (plus incentives) with the Tokyo Swallows.
The 25-year-old RHP hails from the Dominican Republic and made his last major league appearance on April 25th of this year. That game was not pretty as he walked five in just two innings of work. He spent the remainder of the 2009 season at AAA Portland where he had a 3.12 ERA in just over 69 innings.
At Portland he averaged 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings, but unfortunately he also allowed 5.7 walks per nine. His heater generally hits between 149 and 156 kph on the gun, and he mixes in a curve and changeup to keep batters off balance.
He was originally signed by the Detroit Tigers in 2001 as an undrafted free agent and was sent to the Florida Marlins along with several other players in that December 2007 trade for Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera. He arrived in San Diego in March of 2009.
If he can get his walks/9 innings down under four, then he could be a very solid bullpen option for the birds. If he can’t, then it looks like we could have a Kroon on our hands (minus the forkball).
He’s been assigned the number 70, and his first name is pronounced /ay-oo-low-HEE-oh/, but some people apparently call him “Frankie” because they can’t handle his first name.