De La Cruz has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for a PED masking agent, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
One of the top prospects in a very weak farm system, De La Cruz tested positive for furosemide, and will miss the rest of 2018 (the Tennessee Smokies have 56 games left on their schedule) and roughly the first month of 2019. The 23-year-old righty is already on the 40-man roster, which may have led the Cubs to assigning him to Double-A a little before he was ready for the level. He has a 5.24 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 73 strikeouts in 77.1 innings this season. It would not be surprising to see him converted to a relief role at some point next season.
Through his first two starts with Double-A Tennessee, De La Cruz is 0-2 with a 16.50 ERA across six innings of work.
The 23-year-old righty is getting his first taste of the Double-A level, and so far he's taking his lumps. The Cubs will be patient with De La Cruz, who's never gotten to 100 innings in a season as a professional. He'll probably spend the whole year at Double-A, and hopefully he can begin to find a little more success soon.
De La Cruz will open the year at Double-A Tennessee, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
The 23-year-old righty has never pitched above High-A, but is on the Cubs' 40-man roster, so he could move relatively quickly if he finds success at Double-A. Health has been an issue for De La Cruz, so if he can approach 100 innings for the first time in his career, that would help his case for remaining a starter. Otherwise, the Cubs may be tempted to fast-track him as a reliever. He has mid-rotation upside, but a lot of things have to go right for him to reach that ceiling.
De La Cruz (pectoral) tossed a scoreless, nine-pitch ninth inning in Saturday's 6-1 Cactus League victory over the Rangers. He struck out and walked a batter.
De La Cruz's Arizona Fall League was cut short after he suffered a pectoral injury, but the issue was always viewed as minor and didn't delay him once pitchers and catchers reported to spring training. Regarded as one of the better pitchers in the Cubs' farm system, De La Cruz will likely report to either High-A Myrtle Beach or Double-A Tennessee to begin the 2018 campaign.
| 20 || 21 || 22 || 23 || 24 || 25 || 26
| 27 || 28 || 29 || 30 || 31 || 1 || 2
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2016||AFX-South Bend Cubs||1||2||3.25||6||6||0||0||0||27.2||22||10||10||0||3||8||35|
|2017||AFA-Myrtle Beach Pelican||4||3||3.46||12||12||1||1||0||54.2||55||22||21||6||7||13||47|