The right-hander was claimed by the Cubs on Friday from the Milwaukee Brewers, putting him right back in some familiar territory.
“Well, as soon as they put me on waivers the first team I was thinking about was here,” De La Cruz said Sunday.
That’s because new Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio was De La Cruz’s pitching coach last season at Triple-A Nashville when Bosio took over the job in June. Then for the short time De La Cruz was up with the Brewers he was around new Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who was the hitting coach in Milwaukee.
“[Bosio] knows what I can do and he knows that I am a hard-work guy so I thank them for the opportunity,” De La Cruz said.
The 28-year-old, who has brief major-league experience with four teams -- the Brewers, Padres, Marlins and Tigers -- said he is open to being a starter or a reliever, but the expectation is that the Cubs will use him in the bullpen.
All but one of his 26 major-league appearances have been in relief. That lone start came in 2008 with the Marlins. At Nashville last season he started in 23 of his 25 appearances, posting a 3.88 ERA with 126 strikeouts and 63 walks in 137 innings.