Royals Release Juan Cruz, DFA Luis Mendoza

The Royals have released Juan Cruz and designated Luis Mendoza for assignment, reports Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The moves shake up the team's bullpen and open up roster spots for Brad Thompson and Bruce Chen.

The 31-year-old Cruz has not lived up to expectations since signing a two year, $6MM contract last offseason, posting a 5.50 ERA with a 7.3 K/9 in 55.2 innings for the team. Kansas City still owes him the rest of his $3.25MM salary for this season, plus the $500K buyout for his 2011 option.

Mendoza, 26, was acquired from the Rangers for cash considerations earlier this month. He had allowed 14 baserunners and ten runs in four innings this season. Both Thompson and Chen were signed to minor league deals this offseason and were pitching reasonably well for the Royals' Triple-A affiliate.


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26 Comments on "Royals Release Juan Cruz, DFA Luis Mendoza"


5 years 4 months ago

Twins need a middle reliever. And they almost got him a couple years ago.

5 years 4 months ago

Free Disco Hayes!

5 years 4 months ago

I bet the Cubs take a look at Cruz. Zambrano is probably on the phone with Hendry right now telling him to get Cruz.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

4.9 BB/9 the last 5 seasons? Yeah, Hendry is probably tripping over himself right about now.

Oh my Lord – horrible thought… What if Hendry claims him and assumes the 3.75 Million? No Jimmy, no! Step away from the waiver wire!

Should probably be said that Hendry was the first one to dump him though. Maybe he remembers why. I just hope he hasnt been watching some of those ERA marks thinking Cruz is the one who got away all these years.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

“The Royals have released Juan Cruz”

3.75 Million down the drain. Gee, wonder why they are a sub-500 club?

Hendry, you paying attention? Sure looks similar to your Grabow contract, doesnt it?

Spirit of '69
5 years 4 months ago

Bruce Chen lives … again!!!

Alldaybaseball
5 years 4 months ago

And sadly got the roster over Cruz.

nepp
5 years 4 months ago

So, nobody in the Majors wanted to trade for Cruz? Seriously, he was pretty highly thought of even two years ago and now he’s simply released?

He’s still got his stuff/velocity. What a waste of money for the Royals. He just needs a good pitching coach

5 years 4 months ago

Yeah, a huge waste of money for a small market team, not to mention the fact that they had to give up a draft pick to get him and they gave him two years when no one else would give him one. It’s pretty easy to tell why the Royals always suck. The Dayton Moore regime is on it’s last legs, or it should be except for the fact that the owner gave him an extension (last year?). It’ll be awhile before they’re good again.

barroomhero
5 years 4 months ago

Isn’t 5-1/3 innings a little bit early to pull the plug this season? I know Cruz was not good last year, but I would have thought at least a LITTLE longer.

nepp
5 years 4 months ago

Dayton Moore make a mistake or act hastily….I don’t buy that.

Ian_Smell
5 years 4 months ago

He was a beast for me in MVP 2005, ah what memories.

Koby2
5 years 4 months ago

I must say I am shocked. Too bad we lost a second round pick on Cruz, but at the time he was signed there were some teams wanting him, just not wanting to give up a first round pick for him, I think this was the only signing a lot of people liked at the time during that 2008-2009 offseason that brought us Jacobs, Crisp, and Farnsworth…the trifecta from hell. Oh well, at least Mendoza is gone now too. I’m glad Moore is at least shaking things up a bit. Now if only we could get Kila and Disco up here….

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

It seems as if some people might be looking more towards stats like ERA and less towards the ones you need to focus on when you are talking about a reliever. Things like BB%, H%, HR%, etc become much more important because they indicate the likelihood of a reliever doing good. But there are also some important ones like these

Inherited Runners Scoring – average is generally around 30% for relievers. Cruz? 40% from 2007-Today (basically 3 years)

Save Opportunities – Good is 80%, Cruz is 22% from 2007-Today. Its 7 blown in just 9 chances.

Cruz has had a couple good ERA seasons, and has posted some nice K marks – but he isn’t a good reliever, and especially not a good pressure situation reliever like he is paid to be. KC knows it, they were using him in mop-up duty.

jdub220
5 years 4 months ago

Inherited Runners involves how many outs there are when the reliever comes in, and where the baserunners are. Other relievers might come in with a runner on 1st, 2 out, where it’s possible that Cruz comes into a lot of “runner on 2nd and 3rd with 0 outs” situations. So his inherited runners scoring percentage is inflated.

And save opportunity percentage is flawed too, because (as I said above) if Cruz comes into a messy situation and lets the runner score, he gets a blown save. And Cruz isn’t a closer, so he RARELY pitches the ninth. And you need to finish the game in order to get a save. But Soria usually handles that.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

You get a save situation starting in the 6th inning, meaning an opportunity to blow it or create a hold is created then – and you keep a hold even if another pitcher eventually loses the game. Cruz has 340 relief games, just 39 save situations and has blown 11 of them. And you can tell by the extremely low 39 opps in 340 G that he has never really been trusted with a lead.

And that speaks to the number of inherited runners he allows to cross – he generally isn’t being used in important situations yet still allows a huge percentage of inherited runners to cross. If anything, his inherited runners is vastly deflated – he has just a 0.873 aLI over his career.

jdub220
5 years 4 months ago

There are only two ways to get a save opp: if you blow a lead in the 6th/7th/8th, or if you pitch the ninth.You don’t get a save opp if you come in the middle innings and keep the lead, so that’s why he’s blown such a large percentage of his save opps. I think that’s where you got confused or something. And the low amount of opportunities is because KC has Soria, and we had Lyon/Valverde/Qualls.

Cruz’s job with the Dbacks was basically to save an inning if someone else started to give up the lead. I’m not sure what his job with KC is, I don’t really watch Royals games. But Cruz usually pitched in the 6th/7th/8th if Lyon/Slaten/Rauch/Qualls started serving meatballs (which, believe me, happened A LOT) and he had to come save the day. So he was hardly a mop up guy, rather the opposite actually.

Save opps isn’t really a useful stat unless you’re evaluating a closer, and inherited runners is largely dependent on the situation. You should be looking more at FIP or somthing, which over the last three years have been kind of “meh” for Cruz. Over his 5.1 IP (reeeeally small sample size alert) this year, he’s had a really good FIP of 2.65. But in 2009 he’s had a 4.92 mark, 3.62 in 2008, and 3.70 in 2007. So if he can regain his 2007-08 form, he’s a very useful reliever.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

Incorrect. You get a save situation/opp if you come in the 6th-onward with a 3 or lower run advantage (or occasionally larger if runners on). If you blow it, you get a BS. If you don’t and don’t finish the game, you get a H. If you hold it and finish the game, you get a S.

Also, Cruz’ job with the DBacks was not to protect leads. He entered the game only 32 times while the team had the lead out of the 126 relief games he pitched. He also held a 0.863 relief pitcher average Leverage Index while with that club, where 1.0 is average and pitchers relied on to pitch with leads almost never see under 1.1. He also only entered the game with a runner on in only 35 of the 126 times he was called on.

Save Opps/H/S are the useful stat to look at for any relief pitcher which you are thinking about putting into pressure situations. It tells you how many times a player had the opportunity for a Save or Hold, and how many times he actually converted. Cruz has converted at a 71.8% rate his career. Average is generally 82%. Couple that with his only being used with the lead in 25% of his career games (78 calls when Ahead in 310 Games), and you have a career low-leverage, mop-up type with poor results in the pressure situations he has seen.

Oh, and FIP is kind of worthless if you are talking about a guy you almost never used with the lead. Say a guy never allows a run when down but allows the tying/winning run most times you put him in with the lead. His FIP could be extremely low, but his usefulness would be even lower.

jdub220
5 years 4 months ago

You put too much weight in leverage. It’s just like clutch hitting.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

So youre saying there are no such things as closers or set-up men?

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

So youre saying there are no such things as closers or set-up men?

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

Incorrect. You get a save situation/opp if you come in the 6th-onward with a 3 or lower run advantage (or occasionally larger if runners on). If you blow it, you get a BS. If you don’t and don’t finish the game, you get a H. If you hold it and finish the game, you get a S.

Also, Cruz’ job with the DBacks was not to protect leads. He entered the game only 32 times while the team had the lead out of the 126 relief games he pitched. He also held a 0.863 relief pitcher average Leverage Index while with that club, where 1.0 is average and pitchers relied on to pitch with leads almost never see under 1.1. He also only entered the game with a runner on in only 35 of the 126 times he was called on.

Save Opps/H/S are the useful stat to look at for any relief pitcher which you are thinking about putting into pressure situations. It tells you how many times a player had the opportunity for a Save or Hold, and how many times he actually converted. Cruz has converted at a 71.8% rate his career. Average is generally 82%. Couple that with his only being used with the lead in 25% of his career games (78 calls when Ahead in 310 Games), and you have a career low-leverage, mop-up type with poor results in the pressure situations he has seen.

Oh, and FIP is kind of worthless if you are talking about a guy you almost never used with the lead. Say a guy never allows a run when down but allows the tying/winning run most times you put him in with the lead. His FIP could be extremely low, but his usefulness would be even lower.

Suzysman
5 years 4 months ago

You get a save situation starting in the 6th inning, meaning an opportunity to blow it or create a hold is created then – and you keep a hold even if another pitcher eventually loses the game. Cruz has 340 relief games, just 39 save situations and has blown 11 of them. And you can tell by the extremely low 39 opps in 340 G that he has never really been trusted with a lead.

And that speaks to the number of inherited runners he allows to cross – he generally isn’t being used in important situations yet still allows a huge percentage of inherited runners to cross. If anything, his inherited runners is vastly deflated – he has just a 0.873 aLI over his career.

BlueCatuli
5 years 4 months ago

I really hope the Cubs don’t go down memory lane with Juan Cruz.

5 years 4 months ago

If Bruce Chen couldn’t break 90 MPH in MVP 05, I can only imagine what his fastball is at now. Still… he is one of my favorite ironic/novelty players.

Otis26
5 years 4 months ago

“Now if only we could get Kila and Disco up here….”

Here they come…the ‘Kila is Messiah’ crowd! He’s a stiff. The Ryan Shealy of the Royals minor league system.