The Chicago Cubs have had in their employ an intriguing yet inconsistent young pitcher named Juan Cruz. Cruz has yet to turn his dominant stuff into any kind of sustained major-league success, and the Cubs’ brass has seemed to give up on him. Cubs fans have turned their attention from dreaming about Cruz’s future to dreaming about what they might acquire in trade for him.
Well, they can stop dreaming; the Cubs today traded Cruz and Steve Smyth to the Braves for Andy Pratt and Richard Lewis. Pratt certainly looks like an interesting prospect, but Cubs fans are understandably disappointed. The real winners here, though, are us baseball fans; a frustrating yet electric young pitcher lands in the hands of arguably the greatest pitching coach ever. It’ll be a lot of fun to see what Cruz can do under Mazzone’s tutelage. And the pundits may have again jumped the gun on predicting the Braves’ demise.