Cubs top pitching prospect suspended for 80 games


by - Senior Editor -
Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports
Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports

MLB announced that Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Oscar De La Cruz has been suspended 80 games for testing positive for Furosemide, a diuretic and masking agent.

Ranked No. 3 on MLB.com's list of Top 30 Cubs prospects, De La Cruz, 23, went 4-3 with a 3.46 ERA in 12 starts for Class A Myrtle Beach last season. Overall, he has gone 26-17 with a 3.39 ERA in 69 Minor League appearances.

In 2018, he had a 6-7 record with a 5.24 ERA at Double-A Tennessee.

MLB.com's Scouting report on De La Cruz:

When healthy, De La Cruz operates with a pair of plus pitches and flashes a changeup with at least solid potential. His 91-97 mph fastball has plenty of velocity and is even harder to hit because of its movement and the angle he creates with his 6-foot-4 frame. His curveball combines power and depth and he's improving the consistency of his arm speed with his changeup.

De La Cruz has a strong, athletic frame -- he weighs more than his listed 200 pounds -- that should lend itself to durability. He has good body control for his size, repeats his delivery well and never has had any problems throwing strikes. If he can do a better job of staying on the mound, he can become at least a No. 3 starter.

The Cubs released a statement about the situation on Friday afternoon.

“We are disappointed to learn today that Oscar De La Cruz has violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The Cubs fully support the Program and its efforts to remove performance enhancing drugs from the game. We also expect Oscar to learn from this experience and will support him on his journey back. Per Program protocol, the Cubs will not comment further on this matter.”

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