Still waiting to confirm this, but from what I’ve been told, Indianapolis Indians pitcher Michael Crotta will be added to the 40-man roster tonight, which will protect the right hander from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. Crotta was eligible for the first time in 2009, although he was coming off a season with a 4.76 ERA in 143.2 innings, with a 6.1 K/9, a 2.1 BB/9, and an 0.4 HR/9 ratio at the AA level.
Crotta started off strong in AA in 2010, with a 1.78 ERA in 25.1 innings over four starts, with a 5.7 K/9, a 1.1 BB/9, and no homers allowed. He moved to AAA, where he put up a 4.93 ERA in 131.1 innings, although his ratios were strong with a 6.1 K/9, a 2.5 BB/9, and a 0.7 HR/9. You can see Crotta in action in this video recap of his April 13th start with Altoona.
Crotta is a sinker ball pitcher, with a 90-93 MPH fastball. He’s been hit hard as a starter in his minor league career, although he usually gets off to a good start, and allows damage later in the game. His command has really taken a step forward in the last two years, leading to his increase in value in 2010. The overall numbers as a starter don’t look great, but Crotta’s ratios and pitch selection make him a solid Major League relief prospect, possibly making the 2011 team out of Spring Training.