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Pirates Release Juan Cruz

June 3, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA;   Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Juan Cruz (37)  during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.  Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
June 3, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Juan Cruz (37) during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

The Pittsburgh Pirates have released right-handed reliever Juan Cruz after he refused his assignment to Triple-A, the team has announced:

The 33-year-old veteran, who posted a 2.76 ERA and 8.3 K/9 in forty-three relief appearances for the Pirates this season, was somewhat surprisingly designated for assignment earlier this week just days after coming off of the disabled list. Cruz had been sidelined for a month with an elbow injury seemed to pitch well upon his return.

Owner of a 4.05 ERA and a 9.1 K/9 over his twelve-year career, it is likely Cruz will latch on somewhere before rosters expand at the beginning of September. Playoff contenders with bullpen issues like the Los Angeles Angels or St. Louis Cardinals could be possible fits for the veteran right-hander.