Cruz Involved in Major League Trade
COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The Detroit Tigers acquired infielder Wilson Betemit from the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, trading West Michigan Whitecaps’ pitcher Antonio Cruz and another prospect to help fortify their infield.
With the Whitecaps set to open their latest homestand on Wednesday night against the Royals-affiliated Kane County Cougars, Cruz walked across the concourse at Fifth Third Ballpark to join his new team in the visiting clubhouse.
The 19-year-old lefty was 2-6 with a 3.11 ERA at the time of the trade. He started the season in the rotation and went 1-5 with a 3.59 ERA as a starter, turning in six quality starts. Since a switch to the bullpen designed to limit the young hurler’s innings from accumulating, Cruz had gone 1-1 with a 1.53 ERA and a 19-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 17.2 innings of work.
Cruz first joined the Whitecaps as an 18-year-old in 2010, when he went 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 19.1 innings during 10 late-season relief appearances.
Betemit, 29, was hitting .281 through 57 games for the Royals this season, primarily as a third baseman. During his nine-year Major League career, the Dominican-born infielder has hit .268 with 58 home runs and 224 RBI in 657 games for the Braves, Dodgers, Yankees, White Sox and Royals.
The other prospect sent with Cruz to the Royals was catcher Julio Rodriguez. In 66 games for the high Class-A Lakeland Flying Tigers, Rodriguez was hitting .283 with one home run and 27 RBI.
The Whitecaps return to Fifth Third Ballpark on Wednesday to start a six-game homestand at 7:00 p.m. against the Kane County Cougars. RHP Kevin Eichhorn (7-3, 3.53) is scheduled to take the mound for West Michigan against RHP Greg Billo (7-2, 1.38) for Kane County. The contest will feature a tribute to the Negro Leagues, entertainment from the Chicago Matadors, and a post-game fireworks show presented by Farm Bureau Insurance. Group and individual tickets can be reserved by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or visiting whitecapsbaseball.com.