The Pittsburgh Pirates played in their first Spring Training game yesterday against the Minnesota Twins. Today is a split-squad day, allowing some prospects to get playing time.
Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates lost a close game to the Minnesota Twins to start off their Spring Training. They lost by a score of 2-1 but saw some positives come from the game including a solid first two innings from Mitch Keller. Today the Pittsburgh Pirates will have two games going with their first split-squad action of the Spring.
What is great about split-squad games is it usually allows teams to get some of their top prospects involved in the games. Today, the Pittsburgh Pirates will take advantage of have two games and will give Oneil Cruz his first start of the Spring. He will bat 8th and play shortstop against the Detroit Tigers.
Cruz has already been one of the most talked-about prospects at Spring Training. He came in and was measured at 6’7” which is an inch taller than he was last year. Then in an interview, the 21-year-old mentioned how his goal is to reach the Majors and play for the PIttsburgh Pirates this season. With his size, power, and athletic ability it may not be as far fetched as it would seem. Under the previous regime, it likely would not happen, but maybe the new regime will act more aggressively with their young talent.
Cruz will, unfortunately, bat 8th against the Tigers so fans may have to wait a while to see him get an at-bat. It is worth tuning in as he very well could be the Pittsburgh Pirates future #4 hitter and now is a good chance to see why there is so much buzz about him. The good news is that the game is televised on AT&T Sportsnet with a start time of 1:00 PM EST. The team will send Derek Holland to the mound for his first competitive pitch on the PIttsburgh Pirates.