Looking Ahead: Francisco Cruceta, sort of
So, last week, I decided to writeup Francisco Cruceta as the next in the Looking Ahead series, but I just hadn’t gotten around to writing it. This morning, when I woke up, I discovered that Jeff Sullivan beat me to it.
Jeff nails Cruceta’s strengths and weaknesses perfectly. Summing up:
Francisco Cruceta is a lesson in why you can’t just automatically apply some general ML translation to minor league statistics and come out with a reliable performance projection. He’s been able to succeed by taking advantage of the one thing minor league batters do significantly worse than their Major League counterparts, and now that he’s in Seattle, he’s having a hell of a time trying to adjust. Obviously he’s not five-runs-in-one-inning bad, but he’s not nine-strikeouts-in-every-game good, either, despite what some people might’ve been hoping for as they tracked his progress in Tacoma this year.
This is the simplest way of putting things: Francisco Cruceta is not a starting pitcher. At least, not a good one, anyway, not in Seattle…
Cruceta is out of options next spring, so he’ll have to stick with the team out of spring training or the M’s will have to attempt to slip him through waivers. So, really, the M’s need to decide pretty soon whether he’s going to get a legitimate chance to make the team next spring, and his best chance to do that is as a reliever. The team is extremely crowded in the bullpen, however, so there’s a decent chance that Cruceta could end up as trade bait.
Anyways, read Jeff’s piece on Cruceta, while I go hunting for someone obscure enough that he can’t steal my thunder. Maybe I’ll do a Looking Ahead: Michael Hrynio. That’ll show him.