Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ask the Hurler: What's the deal with Juan Cruz?

Fantasy Hurler reader Alfonso asks:

What do you think of Juan Cruz? He's pitching long relief and not in line to pick up any saves but he did have an obscene 12.84 K/9 last year and better than average WHIP and ERA. Is he the kind of guy to look for to help out my ratios?

Cruz has 464 Ks, lifetime, in 463.1 innings. He had a monster year in '07, but that looks like a bit of an aberration. Lifetime ERA of 4.16 is not very palatable, and his '07 ERA of 3.10 and WHIP of 1.26 doesn't put him in the elite tier of middle relievers (Broxton or Neshek, for example, demolish him in those categories). In terms of Ks, Broxton, along with a few other relievers, have comparable K rates while offering better ratios.

However, the real problem with Cruz, other than his goofy Yahoo photo that makes him look like a meth addict, is that he's third in line to close. You need both Brandon Lyon and Pena (who I think wins the job if he can ever get out of visa purgatory) to go down before Cruz gets a chance. If you want to stock up on middle relievers to help your ratios, there are better choices, except in perhaps deep NL-only leagues.

1 comment:

alfonso said...

Holy shit... I'm famous!

Thanks for the answer. I should've mentioned that K/9 is a category in a couple of my H2H leagues. Even so, you make a really good case. I certainly wouldn't have drafted him but I'll keep an eye out in case he really did "figure it out" last season.