Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweeted earlier today that the Brewers have signed RHP Eulogio de la Cruz to a minor league deal. He played for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Japan last season, but only appeared in nine games, throwing 10.1 innings and surrendering nine earned runs on 14 hits (two of which were homers). At least he managed a 4:1 K:BB ratio.
As Eddy notes, de la Cruz has had an up-and-down experience at the Triple A level. In his last season in the States — 2009 with the Padres organization — he posted a K/9 of 7.66 in 69.1 IP, but also had a BB/9 of 5.71. He ended the year with an ERA of 3.21, but a FIP slightly higher at 3.78.
In terms of stuff, de la Cruz’s limited Pitch F/X data from three cups of coffee with the Tigers, Marlins, and Padres has him sitting at 93 or 94 with the fastball, with a high-80s change. He apparently also threw a slider in 2007, but the pitch hasn’t been recognized since, so it’s possible he’s strictly become a two-pitch guy out of the bullpen.
Right now, this just seems like organizational filler. He obviously has a live arm, which keeps giving him chances to stick, but unless he can get his control in check it doesn’t look like he’ll make much of an impact. In the end, this is a low-risk, medium-reward type of move that probably won’t mean much of anything. At the very least, he can join Zelous Wheeler as one of the coolest-sounding names in the Brewers’ system.