The Pittsburgh Pirates and their fan base dealt with a devastating situation on Sunday. Oneil Cruz slid into home plate while the baseline was being blocked by the catcher of the Chicago White Sox, Selby Zavala. A collision occurred leaving Cruz rolling on the ground in pain while Zavala ran his mouth to Cruz. This of course led to the benches and bullpens clearing, as veteran Carlos Santana took exception to how Zavala handled the situation.
When all the smoke had cleared, it was reported that Cruz had fractured his ankle. This news came out before the game even concluded. Then our very own Kody Duncan reported that Cruz would undergo surgery to repair the ankle:
According to multiple reports Pittsburgh Pirates budding superstar Oneil Cruz will be out for 10-12 weeks.
The good news from the fallout of all of this is that Cruz will be back this season. Actually, because of the surgery, he has a timeline for his return which gives fans something to look forward to. Some questioned if Cruz would need medical attention to other parts of his ankle/leg/foot but it turns out it was just the ankle.
It will actually be super interesting to see if Cruz can return on time. If he does that projects him to be back by the end of June. What also happens in June? The Super-2 deadline passes, meaning the Pittsburgh Pirates will start to call up more prospects.
This team, which is off to a good start, could actually be better by the end of June. The team's glaring hole is their pitching staff. By the end of June, pitchers like Luis Ortiz and Quinn Priester should be joining the Big League rotation. That in turn will benefit the bullpen by moving Vince Velasquez out of the starting rotation.
If this team can continue playing good baseball until June it should line up for an entertaining summer. They have a great mix of talented youth and veteran leadership. The Pittsburgh Pirates are not a playoff team by any means, but come the end of June this team is going to be even more fun to watch.
Unfortunately, things look worse for Cruz than initially hoped.
As you can see above, according to the Pirates, Cruz will be out of action for 4 months. This would put him on pace to begin a minor league rehab assignment in early August. So, if everything goes perfeclty according to plan, the best case scenario for Cruz would appear to be a return to the majors around Labor Day.