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Friday, December 9, 2022

P2Daily: Oneil Cruz Facing An Adjustment Opportunity Defensively Late In Season

Oneil Cruz had himself quite the game on Monday, picking up four hits in a game for the first time in his major league career. He also did it in almost the most un-Oneil Cruz type fashion, with two of those hits coming under 70-mph in exit velocity, and not having a single one hit triple-digits.

So something doesn’t quite sit right with bridging this topic right now after such a great day offensively, but Cruz did commit his third error in a two day span on Monday, giving him 16 on the season.

There was never any doubt of Cruz’s ability to launch the baseball over the fence, but it’s been long a concern about his ability to stick at the shortstop position.

We’ve all seen what Cruz is capable of defensively, and for all accounts he’s strung together some decent stretches in the field throughout the season.

September has been rough, however, as he’s committed seven errors now (two throwing, four fielding, and a missed catch) – four of which over the past week.

From an observation stand point, it’s almost good to see him go through this funk to see if he can make the adjustments needed to fix some of these issues. The raw talent is there, but will he be able to apply the fundamentals to that skill set to turn around his defensive funk?

There are eight games left to find out.

Let Miguel Andujar Be The Last

Miguel Andujar is name long connected to the Pirates, mostly due to the fanbase hoping to acquire him should the opportunity present itself. He was also one of the generic names included in any Bryan Reynolds trade rumors from the Yankees side of things.

So, it almost feels like this was manifested by the hopes of both fanbases.

It cost the Pirates Michael Chavis, who had become more of ‘110% hustle’ type player than anything, posting a 92 wRC+ against lefties.

Andujar is certainly an interesting name to watch the rest of the season and going into 2023. He had that fantastic 2018 season, finishing second in the AL Rookie of The Year after hitting 27 home runs, but has struggled to stay healthy and find consistent playing time with the Yankees since.

He could certainly get that opportunity now in Pittsburgh to close out the season, and should have the inside track at a roster spot come 2023.

In all honesty, saying that Chavis was part of the ‘plans’ going any further than past this season would have been more a bad sign than anything, but it’s still an awkward look when a player with 14 home runs is DFAd on a team that struggles so much to hit for power.

So if Chavis wasn’t going to be a part of the solution going forward, then there isn’t a problem with giving someone like Andujar a chance to see if he sticks against the wall, as long as this isn’t just another part of the never ending cycle.

Going into the fourth year under Ben Cherington, the Pirates should be more about finding stability as opposed to running a 24-hour shuttle bus to move players in and out.

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Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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TNBucs

We probably haven’t lost Chavis, right? I doubt he gets claimed and will likely become depth in AAA with an NRI for ST.

emjayinTN

There’s no GM that stupid.

skliesen

We all wanted Chavis to be a shorter version of Gaby Sanchez, and for a couple months he was. Unfortunately the clock struck midnight for him a while ago. Quite frankly, he should’ve been DFA’d around the AS break, and he likely would have if Pirates had anyone (not named JVM) to play 1B this summer.

Pirates don’t just need veterans, they need PRODUCTIVE veterans. They’re out there, just gotta pay for it. Therein lies the rub.

emjayinTN

The “productive veteran” ship has sailed for now simply because our young prospects proved they were better than the AAAA veterans assembled by BC, and expensive FA’s are out as you have indicated.

ayukish2001

Remember when everyone was pissed we didn’t take the Yankees trade offer of Andujar, Frazier, and Adams for Cole? Goes to show that we fans have no idea what we’re talking about. That Musgrove guy was pretty good for us, and Bednar / Endy could be a nice return for him.

emjayinTN

No problem with Chavis – I would just rather see him with another team. His K/BB rate of almost 7/1 is not what we need from a veteran who is finishing his 3rd year in MLB, and will be eligible for Arbitration after the season.

Malcom Nunez played 90 games at 1B at AA in 2022 for Springfield in the Texas League when he was in the St Louis org, and at Altoona with the Pirates. A Fielding Percentage of .996 and an RF/9 of 8.06, and he is still only 21. He will not turn 22 until March 2023 and should start the year at AAA. An .823 OPS at Springfield and an .857 OPS at Altoona with a combined 22 HR, 87 RBI, 65 BB, 98 K’s in 400 AB’s. This kid’s a KEEPER!

leefieux

Since June 1 Michael Chavis had an OPS of .581.

Last edited 2 months ago by leefieux
b mcferren

Oneil needs to share a bunk bed with Jack Wilson in winter ball league

OT: I thought my Oneal / Oneil spelling error whoa’s were done when Walker and Huntington left

Last edited 2 months ago by b mcferren
joebaseball

O’Neil needs to learn 1B this year. Solves his fielding and throwing problems.

leefieux

I got around that by calling Walker PRNW. 🙂 🙂

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