The Pittsburgh Pirates will be without the services of shortstop Oneil Cruz. According to Derek Shelton during the media session after Sunday’s game, Cruz suffered a fractured left ankle as a result of an awkward slide at home plate, which resulted in a collision.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton said Oneil Cruz has a fractured left ankle, a result of the home plate collision that forced the 6-foot-7 shortstop to leave the game in the sixth inning.
— Kevin Gorman (@KevinGormanPGH) April 9, 2023
Here’s video of the incident, which occurred in the sixth inning.
Benches clear in Pittsburgh after a play at the plate involving Oneil Cruz
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 9, 2023
Cruz is still being evaluated, so there could be more on this news later today.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
They just said on The Fan that Cruz had surgery on his ankle last night and he will be out at least 2 months.
EDIT: Gorman is saying 10 – 12 weeks over on the Trib web site.
I expected the worst so this is a good news actually. Hopefully he’ll be back healthy and well!!!
They’re going to have to be creative here. Honestly, best thing for the team is to slide Hayes into SS and bring up Mathias to plug and play 3b with Castro.
Sucks that Triolo is injured and Peguero isn’t very good at baseball.
Castro is going to be awful, most likely.
But at least he’ll get the chance to prove otherwise. This will be a huge (set of) data point(s) for him.
Yeah, they can’t play him for an extended period.
well, it looks like they will. maybe he and bae alternate.
we’d have heard that Owings was getting the call if the plan wasn’t to give Castro and Bae the run at short.
We’d have seen Bae at short over Castro if Castro wasnt the preferred option there.
until we see an Owings or an outside acquisition, Castro is clearly going to lead the team in SS innings.
As people have said, it depends on the type of fracture which will determine operative vs non-operative management. Based on the mechanism (extreme eversion injury), I think an unstable fracture is likely which would require surgery. Wouldn’t surprise me if this is season ending.
Why not Peguero?
Still very young – this is his age 22 season. Castro and Bae have both seen time at SS and they have done well. At the present time, Tucupita Marcano has been very hot right out of the gate – 28 AB, slash of .500/.517/.929/1.446.
Keep Castro at SS and work Bae and Tuc at 2B/Util.
Peguero only has 3 days of MLB Service. If adding Marcano does not work, or Castro cannot handle SS, then bring up Peguero around the trade deadline and keep him up the rest of the year. The Pirates have too many talented MI’s that other teams would like to have. Marcano is one of those guys who could be a starter for more than a few MLB teams.
Bae and Castro have not done well playing SS in the majors.
I remember they used to say Cole Tucker was still very young. At some point, results matter.
he’s nowhere near ready…. he can’t hit AA arms and struggles in the field.
In my opinion and I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination just watching him I always thought that Cruz should be in Altoona learning the game and learning how to hit. Him and Suinski(sic) have a lot of power, but you have to be able to hit the ball first and major league pitchers find your weaknesses quickly.
Such a weird take.
As I said in my first sentence, I am far from an expert, so I am admitting that I may be wrong but to me it looks like he could use some more work in minors if that is “weird” so be it but that is my untrained opinion.
I have no idea who kody duncan is or how reliable of a source he is, but he said mark mathias will be cruz’s replacement
He’s a 🤡 on twitter, often tries to generate social buzz with outlandish takes.
That’s an extreme take on Kody. He writes for rumbunter, the Fansided blog on the pirates and actually has some decent pieces on there. I don’t like the format for fansided because it is a clickbait layout with “next” buttons that go to advertisements but he is not clueless about baseball by any means.
I think the silver lining to this is that it reminds Cruz (and Reynolds) that freak injuries can happen anytime and a lot of guaranteed money is a lot better than being non-tendered because a freak injury took you out for your career
Brutal as it sounds that is very legit B Mc. That’s why opt outs are so sketchy. One bad slide and a team is on the hook for 8/135 vs 4 good years and playa walks. Polanco works for example.
The Bucs should sign him while he is in the IL.
Its just heartbreaking considering the positive start to the season. IF Tupo gets the call, I hope Shelton puts him in the starting lineup and leaves him there to get as much chance to estabilish himself as possible.
I suspect though that the purpose of getting Owings and Mathias were for depth, and this is when depth is required.
I do like the idea of Swags getting the call, and Bae going to short full-time. His arm is just fine for short for those knocking it; his defense would be much better than Castro IMO and he could take the leadoff spot full-time.
Tough days ahead regardless.
The is EXACERY why you do not draft Paul Skenes.
This is exactly why you don’t extend or sign any good player long term, Nuttin is smart!
i honestly cant tell if youre being sincere or if you are doing a bit, with “EXACERY” being spelled in a meme-ish way.
not sure what a freak injury at the plate has to do with paul skenes, but i’m interested to hear your thoughts.
i’m a Crews > Skenes guy anyway but just curious.
BuT eVeRy PiTcHeR gEtS tOmMy JoHn
I just shot tea out of my nose.
My man, you’re a huge advocate of not drafting arms high in the draft due to TJS fear.
JTB blows out his elbow and you were on your pedestal saying *Pirates were due*
What in the hell are you even talking about with that second paragraph, champ? The fact that I said they’ve been fortunate with TJS in recent years and then they get potentially popped with JTB isn’t bragging about it. The organization has been fortunate in recent years, was all I was saying.
As for the first paragraph, I took NMR’s comment to be humorous schtick and if you read what I’ve said about Skenes recently, I’m about 50/50 on him or Crews. I’m not ready to proclaim him a generational talent like you have, but I think he looks really good.
hey, sometimes you gotta poke the bear and start a little trouble
You’re a rascal. Now would certainly be a good time to see if Hayes can do something (anything?) offensively. I think we’ll find out a lot about this team in the next few months.
NMR I hear you; but watching Skenes is definately like watching no other he is SO legit. Its crazy to even think anyone could be considered other than Crews, but Skenes is on even level with him.
I’m happy as long as they take one of them; it will be heartbreaking if they take neither.
Ok, let’s make the club better. Eat hills contract and call up Ortiz, Swaggerty for suwinski, Cruz to 60 day IL and call up nick Gonzalez. dfa heineman and call up endy. Outfield Reynolds lf,cf, Swaggerty cf, cutch rf. Dh, csn, Joe rf
Santana, Choi 1b,dh, Gonzalez 3b,2b Bae ss,2b cf Hayes 3b Castro ss,2b,3b catchers Endy Rodriguez and hedges. Sp keller, Contreras, Ortiz, olivido ,Vazquez. Give Vazquez a few more starts and if not producing , call up priester or borrows if healthy. Bull pen dfa de Jong, call best reliever with strike out stuff, dfa the Zman call up 2nd best reliever with strike stuff. Give this 6-8 weeks and make adjustments .
Everything depends on the severity of the fracture and if there are any other injuries. Blind speculation does no one any good. Just have to wait to hear further details and go from there.
Crack or slight fracture and he’s back in 6-8 weeks or less. Bad multiple fracture and he’s gone for 3-4 months or more. Ankle fractures can be so bad and if it’s so bad his toes are swollen black he’ll feel it when it rains or it’s cold when he’s old. I know.
Good time to move him to OF on rehab
Rennie Stennet also broke his ankle. He was never the same. Hoping this is not the case with Cruz. He really looked like he was figuring things out.
Just a little bit of difference in medical technology today
and the severity between a “broken” ankle and a “fracture”
The words fracture and break mean the same thing.
Kendall too, right? But if it’s a non-displaced fracture (I think that’s the term), then it should be a full recovery.
which is what is expected when they say “fractured”
Fractured is the actual medical term used. Brake is just a slang term. What matters the most is which bones he fractured… was is his tibia, fibula, a combination of both, and also did he break any of the tarsal bones in his foot. Once he is evaluated, then we will get an idea about recovery time.
Pure speculation. If it’s just a fracture, it will take 6 weeks to heal. Then rehab assignment. In the meantime, I’d bring up Marcano. Castro will play SS, Bae 2B/CF, Marcano 2B/OF. Bae can sub occasionally at SS – doesn’t have the arm, but can spell Castro.
Castro looked lost last year when he played shortstop. I’m not sure what the best move would be, but I’m hoping it isn’t to just play Castro at short.
They’ll probably bring up Owings. It is what they do.
absolutely expect that
And it’s what they should do…
Who would you play at SS?
Apparently because he hasn’t played short regularly in literally ten years and has hardly played it at all for five. So of course it’s important for the Pirates to do what the rest of MLB learned 5-10 years ago was a bad idea.
No doubt, that is what we are uses to seeing….
All sprains are not created equal, so I’m not gonna cry in my Tullamore dew just yet, but… He is going to be gone for a couple months and as much as I would like to see Swags in the lineup neither Bae nor Castro is a real shortstop. Marcano is the best hitter at Indianapolis right now so this is a no-brainer plus, he has significant major league experience. If he translates to the MLB Tuco might be the feel good story of the season. Please let it be so.
Nor am I going to cry in my Jefferson small batch Bourbon. In an odd way , I think this may be a blessing in disguise as we get to see one or two other young players and what they can do. And I say this, as a usual “glass half empty Pirates fan.”
I always refer to him as Tuco as well!
I see great potential for Marcano, from what I’ve seen of the little time he’s been with the Bucs, and for high highly regarded the Padres organization had for him
I see a slow bat which is a death curse.
It’s unfortunate for the Pirates who are probably not that good, and certainly are not deep. They now have injuries at the two positions they can least afford, starting pitcher (Bru) and shortstop. They have guys who can fake it at short, but really only Peguero is a shortstop who is currently on the 40 man roster. Can’t have nice things, I guess.
considering that burrows might have blown out his arm yesterday i think you have to start thinking about stretching mlod back out.
Very awkward “slide” and I don’t think even the Pirates were upset about the collision. But whether the catcher wasn’t aware about the severity or not, he reacted by screaming/swearing at Cruz and now with the post game interview I’m afraid this might become a retaliation project…
as it should be. He’s a piece of shit
Question will be if it bleeds into next year, as we won’t see CWS again till next season. And if Zavala is still with them.
I’m glad they’re not seeing CWS again this year. Really didn’t like the interview & really don’t like the idea of retaliation and fights
What was the interview?
Basically the catcher shrugged and said something in the nuance of “tough luck” even after hearing Cruz had fractured his ankle. (Video shows it clearer) I get that the slide wasn’t nice to Zavala either but at the end of the day, he wasn’t injured. I expected “wish him well” type of comment and that would be it. Their manager seemed to be okay with the slide and was sympathetic unlike Kopech and Zavala.
Honestly I could understand the anger on the field right after the play. And I thought he had stopped swearing after seeing Cruz down. But after seeing the interview, I’m feeling like what Oviedo said was true that Zavala kept on going despite seeing Cruz on the ground.
Maybe I’m too biased but that interview really disturbs me.
We could see them in the World Series🤣
Nah, we’ll be facing someone else in the World Series this year
Cruz was indecisive and as a result slid too late. Cleats got stuck underneath himself, and his body weight and momentum caused the break to occur. It’s just a very unfortunate and untimely injury because of the start the team has had this year.
I’m thinking Pirates will call up Mathias or Marcano to take his place, but we’ll see a combination of Castro and Bae playing SS. Probably going to see Bae moving into leadoff spot.
hard to be decisive when a catcher is blocking your path and leaping up for the throw. Not sure how else that could have ended unless cruz lowered his shoulder.
I’ve watched the play numerous times and there certainly was a lane for Cruz. The problem is the lane was towards the back side of the plate and Cruz was running inside the baseline to make the throw more difficult for the 3B. Cruz mistake was sliding late or sliding short in an attempt to prevent contact with Catcher and his back leg paid the price for this decision.
Can’t blame Cruz or Catcher. If there’s a lesson to learn from this, it’s to use proper sliding technique even if it means increasing odds of being out or making contact with Catcher.
I felt like he was trying to avoid hurting or making contact with the catcher which is even sadder. Just some terrible accident. Definitely should slide better next time regardless of the catcher
Bring up Swaggerty. Bae to SS.
Bae isn’t capable of playing short, nor is castro, but they can probably best fill in there for 2 months i guess
Guess we’ll find out if you’re right. It’s not like they’re being asked to replace a Gold glover.
Cruz has been plus defensively despite all the moaning about it.
I would love to see this, too.
If we’re thinking outside the box, bring up Endy to replace the offense of Cruz.
What offense? A couple walks?
First you think Cruz should be at double A. Then you show zero regard for the team leading 7 walks. You clearly don’t have much regard for Cruz. What isn’t clear is whether that’s because you can’t see he is learning to hit at the major league level, or because you don’t want to see it. I think the latter. Contrarian for the sake of contrarian.
Wow, I guess it’s Marcono with Bae 2b and Castro at ss and marcono filling in.also no reason for Swaggerty not to come up and play center.
This is all Key’s fault cause he just hits grounders.
The only person Key couldn’t hit it to and he did…. Still can’t believe he was batting third in the lineup.
Exactly what I thought. Crappy swing dribbler to third.
Couldn’t spot the sarcasm eh?
Yeah, just trying to find a bit of humor in a crappy situation. I’m hoping it’s a fairly clean break and he’s back end of June/early July.
Sorry. I obviously misread the intent of your post.
Safe to say we’re all upset about this.
No worries. It’s a huge bummer. More than anything else this year, I was looking forward to the steps Cruz took this year.
Looks like he’s going to be back around the All-Star game. Still plenty of time to build on the improvements he’s clearly shown thus far.
Here’s looking to the draft and whatever dumpster fire pieces we can move .
Here’s looking at your same old crappy attitude
can someone please explain to me why this technique is not safer?
Two words…Buster Posey. Oh wait, two more, Ray Fosse.
league of their own movie
Sweet comeback! Love that movie!
They say a break is better than a bad sprain….hopefully. any idea on how long he’d be aht?
a fracture is much much better than even a moderate sprain. I had a moderate ankle sprain awhile back- it took 18 months to heal. I had a bad foot sprain 2 years ago, took a good 7 months. Once fractures heal, they heal. don’t have to worry about stretching out ligaments, and scar tissue, etc.
Precedent is ~3 months. A lot of uncertainty this early on depending on how messy the break is and Cruz’s ability to heal and get back to agility post-healing. I would assume he’s not back until after the ASB (14 weeks) and be happy if he returns sooner.
I assume best case will be the series right after All Star break (7/14)
What kind of fracture? How swollen? Does he need surgery? Is he gonna be in a full cast after surgery? If his toes are swollen, he’s out 90-100 days.
😥😭 This honestly makes me sick. Teams playing well, he’s looked good and 💥 boom he’s out. We can’t ever have nice things. Please no Owings, oh God please no Owings
It’ll probably be Marcano who is having a great start at Indy.