On Friday, De La Cruz's hunch became a reality.
The right-handed reliever will be reunited with Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who was the Brewers' bench coach last season. De La Cruz, who spoke with the media Sunday morning for the first time since arriving in the Cubs' clubhouse, thinks Sveum's presence had something to do with his waiver claim.
"He knows what I can do, and he knows that I'm really a hard-working guy," De La Cruz said. "So, thank you for the opportunity."
The Cubs snatched up the 28-year-old, who has struggled mightily this spring. He has allowed seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. Because he has no options remaining, De La Cruz will either have to make the club out of spring camp, or head back to the waiver wire.
De La Cruz spent most of last season as a starter with Triple-A Nashville, though he's spent the spring coming out of the bullpen. With the Cubs split between Las Vegas -- where Sveum is -- and Mesa this weekend, he hadn't spoken to anybody within the organization as to what his role will be.
"I don't know yet if they want me to be a starting pitcher or in the bullpen, but whatever they want me to do, that's fine," he said.