Cruz was reassigned to minor league camp Wednesday, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The 30-year-old pitched well enough during his brief stint in big league camp, as he struck out two batters over three scoreless innings. However, it seems there was simply no room for him on the roster. Cruz will likely head to Triple-A and attempt to pitch his way back onto the major league roster after being away from the U.S. for the past two years.
Cruz signed a minor league contract with the Braves on Wednesday that includes an invitation to spring training. The 30-year-old righty spent 2016 in Mexico, although he had little success in his limited appearances out of the bullpen. Cruz did fan nine batters during his seven-inning stint in the league, but his lack of control and propensity to give up home runs will likely keep him in an organizational depth role.
The Astros reassigned relievers Rhiner Cruz and Jorge De Leon to minor-league camp Sunday, per The Houston Chronicle.
The Astros invited 20 non-roster minor-leaguers to spring training Tuesday, including infielder Carlos Correa and pitcher Mark Appel, the team announced. The team's other invitees include pitchers Jake Buchanan, Rhiner Cruz, Jorge De Leon, Bobby Doran, Mike Foltynewicz, Jason Stoffel and Nick Tropeano; catchers Rene Garcia, Tyler Heineman and Carlos Perez; infielders Japhet Amador, Jonathan Meyer and Ronald Torreyes; and outfielders Delino DeShields, Leo Heras, J.D. Martinez, George Springer and Preston Tucker. Correa, 19, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft. He hit .320/.405/.467 with nine home runs, 86 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 450 at-bats with Class A Quad Cities last season. Appel, 22, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft. He went 3-1 with a 3.79 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 33:9 K:BB ratio in 38 innings over 10 starts between low Class A Tri-City and Class A Quad Cities.
MLB.com reports that the Astros outrighted reliever Rhiner Cruz to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday. Cruz pitched in 20 games for the Astros last season, and he finished with an 0-2 record and 3.38 ERA.
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