03/25/2004 4:24 PM ET
Cubs acquire Pratt, Lewis
MESA, AZ -- The Chicago Cubs today acquired left-handed pitcher Andy
Pratt and infielder Richard Lewis from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for
right-handed pitcher Juan Cruz and left-handed pitcher Steve Smyth.
Pratt, 24, pitched for Richmond (AAA) in 2003, leading the
International League in strikeouts (161) and ranking 8th in ERA (3.40). The
southpaw was 7-10 and made a career-high 27 starts, hurling 156.0 innings.
His 9.35 strikeouts per 9.0 innings also topped the league.
Pratt, the son of Daytona (A) Cubs pitching coach Tom Pratt, was
recognized by Baseball America as having the International League's best
breaking ball. In addition to starting, he has also worked out of the
bullpen at each level of the minor leagues.
In Grapefruit League action this spring, Pratt has gone 1-0 with a
1.13 ERA in 5 games (1 start). He has allowed just 1 run on 2 hits over 8.0
innings - striking out 8 batters and holding opponents to a 0.83 average.
Lewis, 23, saw Double-A action for the first time in 2003 - in just
his third professional campaign. The infielder hit .239 with 32 extra-base
hits and 47 RBI in 129 games. Of his extra-base hits, 23 were doubles. He
also posted a .979 fielding percentage at second base, committing just 11
errors in 120 games.
After the conclusion of the season, Lewis went on to play in the
Arizona Fall League for the Mesa Solar Sox - where he hit .404 with 3 homers
and 19 RBI. He also scored 14 runs and had 9 stolen bases in 21 games.
Lewis saw action in 7 Grapefruit League games this spring, batting
.417 with 1 home run and 3 RBI. He was selected by Atlanta in the 1st round
(40th overall selection) of the 2001 draft.
Cruz, 25, was originally signed by the Cubs in 1997. He has posted
an 8-19 record with a 4.43 ERA in 78 games (23 starts) for the Cubs. He has
seen major league action in each of the last three seasons, and has fanned
185 batters while issuing 104 walks.
Smyth, also 25, spent 2003 at Iowa (AAA) after seeing his first big
league action in 2002. In 99 games in the minors (97 starts), Smyth has gone
36-32 with a 4.11 ERA. He has worked 568.2 innings, striking out 450 batters
and issuing 234 free passes. He was selected by the Cubs in the 4th round of
the 1999 draft.