Reds newest reliever Fernando Cruz took the road less traveled to reach the major leagues

The hat and glove of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Fernando Cruz.
The hat and glove of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Fernando Cruz. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

While fans are ecstatic to finally see Spencer Steer make his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds, the bigger story might actually be Fernando Cruz finally making it to the big leagues after toiling in the minors since 2008.

Cruz was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the sixth-round of the 2007 MLB Draft and spent the first few seasons of his minor league career as an infield prospect. But the Royals eventually decided to turn him into a pitcher.

After an unsuccessful go of it during the 2010 season with Kansas City's Low-A affiliate, the club made the decision to shift Cruz's focus from the batters' box to the pitching rubber. Cruz has bounced all over the world, pitching for the Puerto Rican Winter League, Canadian-American Association, Dominican Winter League, and even the Venezuelan Winter League.

Reds RHP Fernando Cruz took the road less traveled to reach the major leagues.

The Cincinnati Reds selected the contracts of both Spencer Steer and Fernando Cruz on Thursday. Both will be making their major league debuts when the Redlegs take the field against the Colorado Rockies this weekend a Great American Ball Park.

Steer's ascension to the big leagues had been assumed for a few weeks, but Cruz was probably beginning to wonder if he'd ever make it to The Show. A strong showing for the Louisville Bats has earned the 32-year-old his shot.

Cruz has appeared in 51 games for Triple-A Louisville this season and owned a 2.98 ERA and 3.30 FIP. Cruz led the Bats in saves with 23 and punched out 66 batters for an impressive strikeout-rate of 29.3%.

Fernando Cruz's addition to the Cincinnati Reds roster couldn't have come at a better time. After going 13 innings agains the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night, the Reds will need the strong arm of Cruz to help bolster the bullpen.

Luis Cessa, a former reliever turned starter, will take the hill on Friday night. Cessa went just four innings in his last outing, so Cruz could be thrust into action very quickly on Friday night. While Cruz has been the Louisville Bats' closer this season, that's a role that Alexis Diaz has occupied for the past couple of weeks.

Next. 3 ways to get Spencer Steer into the Reds lineup every day. dark