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Inconsistent Season Not Affecting De La Cruz

Inconsistent Season Not Affecting De La Cruz
August 26, 2010
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It has been an up and down season for Double-A left-handed pitcher Kelvin De La Cruz. Partly because he has just pitched bad at times, and partly because he is still working his way back after suffering a significant arm injury last year.

Last year De La Cruz was off to a great start for High-A Kinston where in two starts he was 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA (12.0 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 19 K) and was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week the first week of the season. But in a bullpen session getting ready for his third start last year he tweaked his elbow and it was discovered he had strained the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his left elbow. The injury put him on the shelf for most of the rest of the season to where he made just a handful of appearances on a rehab assignment at rookie-level Arizona and in Instructional League in the fall.

After a frustrating 2009 season, things started to look a lot more promising for De La Cruz in 2010 when he was added to the 40-man roster this past offseason. He participated in his first big league camp, and when the season started he was assigned to Kinston for the first few weeks because the Indians did not want to send him to a colder weather team in Akron so as to help protect his elbow. In six starts for Kinston he went 2-2 with a 2.91 ERA, and in 34.0 innings allowed 22 hits, 8 walks, and had 28 strikeouts.

De La Cruz, who just celebrated his 22nd birthday on August 1st, was quickly moved up to Akron in early May and since joining the rotation there has been inconsistent all year where in 20 starts he is 5-6 with a 5.77 ERA (93.2 IP, 98 H, 64 BB, 77 K). It is not the kind of splash he hoped to make in Double-A, but after missing so much time last year with an injury scare to his left elbow, he is just happy to still be healthy after a long year.

"I am not having the best season, but it is a good season to get ready for next year,

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