Royals acquire minor leaguers Cruz and Rodriguez from Tigers for infielder Wilson Betemit

 The Royals announced today that the club has acquired left-handed pitcher Antonio Cruz and catcher Julio Rodriguez from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for infielder Wilson Betemit.

The 19-year-old Cruz has pitched the entire 2011 campaign for West Michigan in the Class A Midwest League, compiling a 2-6 record with a 3.11 ERA in 22 games, including 10 starts.  The 5-foot-11, 199-pounder from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic was signed by Detroit as a non-drafted free agent on January 7, 2009.  West Michigan is hosting the Royals’ Class A affiliate Kane County this evening, so Cruz will switch clubhouses and be in uniform for the Cougars tonight.

Rodriguez, 21, is hitting .283 with 11 doubles, one home run, 27 RBI and 20 runs scored in 66 games for Lakeland in the Florida State League (A Advanced).  The 6-foot-1 right-handed hitter and thrower was named the Dominican Summer League Tigers Player of the Year in 2008 and was an All-Star in the New York-Penn League last season for Connecticut.  Rodriguez is expected to join the Royals’ High A affiliate in Wilmington.

The 29-year-old Betemit was hitting .281 in 57 games for the Royals.


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