Royals Release Juan Cruz

The Royals reportedly released Juan Cruz today.  It’s a move that I don’t really understand.  The Royals are on the hook for more than $3 million in salary to Cruz this year, and while he certainly hadn’t pitched particularly well so this year, with a 3.38 ERA and seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched, he wasn’t terrible either.

The Royals also designated 26 year old RHP Luis Mendoza for assignment, and reportedly intend to promote starters Bruce Chen and Brad Thompson from AAA Omaha.

Switching Mendoza for Chen makes sense.  Mendoza had pitched terribly in KC and Chen looked great in three starts at Omaha.

Switching Juan Cruz for Brad Thompson doesn’t make any sense to me at all.  Thompson had a 5.40 ERA after three starts at Omaha with equally unimpressive ratios.

None of the Royals’ five starters is currently on the DL, and only Gil Meche has really pitched poorly, and that is only in two starts.

Cruz may not be great, but it’s hard to believe Brad Thompson is a better option for the Royals at this time of the season.  Cruz has been a disappointment since the Royals signed him to a two-year $6 million contract before the 2009 season, but this sure looks like a move where the Royals are seeing the hole and not the donut.

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