Today, the Atlanta Braves retained the 27-year-old right hander to a minor league contract after outrighting him last week, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy.
De La Cruz will be fighting for a roster spot and 40-man roster spot next spring training. He has pitched out of the bullpen and started games for the Braves during his rookie season.
In addition, last season he pitched fairly well on a bad team that finished as one of the hottest teams in baseball. He threw 62 2/3 innings and posted a 4.88 ERA in 22 games. Now, he finished his rookie campaign by going 0-7 with 37 strikeouts and walking 22 batters to go with a 43.1 percent ground-ball rate.
Finally, he is great depth for the Braves and he will be competing with tons of pitchers for a spot on the MLB roster. GM John Coppolella spoke about the upcoming battle in the rotation by saying “De La Cruz could face an uphill battle when it comes to returning to the big league rotation, though he’ll make a handy depth option for the relief corps as well.”