Who is Mike Crotta?
Right-hander Mike Crotta has quietly had himself a great spring. In eight appearances (10.1 innings), Crotta has not allowed an earned run. He’s held the opponents to just four hits (.114 opp avg) with one walk and three strikeouts.
So just who is Michael Crotta? You may, or may not have heard of the 6’6″ righty.
The 26-year-old spent the 2010 season with both Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis where he went 7-10 with a 4.42 ERA in 28 starts (156.2 innings) combined.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com after just two appearances this spring, “He’s definitely got the attention of some people. He’s pitching with purpose.”
Crotta still remains with the big league club but will most likely start the season back at Triple-A.
His future with the Pirates is an interesting one. Crotta is on the 40-man roster, but he will be competing this season with some of the Bucs best starting pitching prospects; Bryan Morris, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson and Jeff Locke are all either slated to start in Triple-A, or they are not too far behind. Let’s not forget about Aaron Thompson and Tony Watson who can also start. Brad Lincoln, Brian Burres and Daniel McCutchen could all wind up in Indianapolis too.
While he’s not a prospect to keep an eye on (a career 4.61 ERA in five minor league seasons), I’d say his spring stats are more than worthy of some attention.
*Photo credit: Derick Hingle