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Orioles ink De La Cruz, add lefty to 40-man roster

Adding to their bullpen depth, the Orioles signed left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz to a one-year contract, their sixth announced signing on Monday.

"We like his size and he's got a couple of good pitches, he has a couple good weapons to strike hitters out," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of De La Cruz. "He had a good year last year in the Dodgers' Triple-A [level]. We think there's a couple things we can help him out with [adjustments-wise], and that he can compete."

The 25-year-old southpaw had a 2.67 ERA in 50 appearances between Double-A and Triple-A last season, and was particularly effective against left-handers, holding them to a .217/.298/.261 line, while recording 37 strikeouts in 106 plate appearances.

De La Cruz has struggled with his command, averaging 4.7 walks per nine innings throughout his eight Minor League seasons, including 35 walks in 67 1/3 innings last year. He did, however, finish third in the Pacific Coast League with a career-high 11.3 strikeouts over nine innings.

De La Cruz was in the Tigers organization in 2012 and spent 2006-11 with the Cleveland organization. His signing brings the Orioles' current 40-man roster total to 32 players.

"We are still looking for some depth for our Major League pitching staff, but De La Cruz has some good pitches and gives us another option from the left side," Duquette said.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for
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