By Jim Callis
March 29, 2005
After trading for Mike Myers last August, the Red Sox let him leave as a free agent following their World Series victory. On Tuesday, they dealt for him again, sending lefthander Kevin Ool and outfielder Carlos de la Cruz to the Cardinals.
Myers, a 35-year-old lefthander, signed a non-guaranteed $600,000 contract with St. Louis in December. He went 5-1, 4.64 in 75 appearances last season, with a 32-23 strikeout-walk ratio in 43 innings. Opponents hit .274 with five homers against him. With Boston, Myers went 1-0, 4.25 in 25 regular-season games and posted a 10.13 ERA in five postseason contests. Strictly a lefty specialist, he held southpaws to a .233 average and .665 OPS last year while righties touched him for a .344 average and 1.012 OPS.
A sidearmer, he goes after lefties with a sinker and slider. He was once effective against righthanders by pounding them inside with a mid-80s fastball, but they have adjusted. Myers' career record is 17-21, 4.40 with 14 saves in 684 games.
Ool, 24, was a 16th-round pick out of Marist in 2003. He's a finesse lefthander who got knocked around at low Class A Augusta last year. He went 3-2, 4.76 with one save in 27 relief appearances. Opponents batted .293 with three homers against him, and he had a 36-11 K-BB ratio in 45 innings. His best pitch is his changeup, and he also throws an 85-87 mph fastball and a three-quarters breaking ball. Ool, who also made two appearances at high Class A Sarasota before straining an oblique muscle in July, has a career 6-3, 3.71 mark in 54 pro games.
De la Cruz, 20, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2001. Last year was his first above Rookie ball, and he hit .274/.341/.338 with one homer, 16 RBIs and 15 steals in 64 games at short-season Lowell. While he's athletic and has average speed, he's going to have to play left field because he has a below-average arm. He'll have to develop significantly more power to make it at that position.