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Pirates cut Cruz, Cards ought to claim him

The Pirates have suddenly cut ties with reliever Juan Cruz under someone curious circumstances.

Cruz, who appeared in the Bucs' Sunday win at St. Louis, has a 1-1 record with a 2.78 ERA and he has struck out 33 hitters in 35 1/3 innings. He hasn't pitched bad. But Pirates manager Clint hurdle said the team has no interest in keeping Cruz -- even if he clears waivers. That's odd since Pittsburgh officials originally said Cruz had to be sent out to make room for a fresh arm after the 19-inning marathon against the Birds on Sunday.

While it seems like Cruz pitched well enough to stay with Pittsburgh, the thing that really puzzles me is why the Pirates would put a pretty good righty reliever in a position to join a team they're fighting for a playoff spot.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Cardinals pick up a useful righty who can get a strikeout when they need it. The addition of the veteran Cruz would pretty much complete a bullpen renovation that has seen a ton of improvement since Edward Mujica arrived in trade to handle the seventh inning.

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