Today is a special day for Pittsburgh Pirates fans as we celebrate Oneil Cruz's 25th birthday. Let's take a look back at his journey, including the setback of a lost season at 24. In 2023, Cruz battled a tough injury, keeping him on the sidelines for most of the year. Cruz fractured his fibula on April 9th when sliding into home plate. This virtually took away his whole season.
For a player with so much potential, this was undoubtedly a frustrating and challenging period. The optimism that typically surrounds my writings took a hit as we watched Cruz grapple with his injury. But as a seasoned sports blogger, I understand that adversity is an integral part of any athlete's journey.
Despite the setback, Cruz showed remarkable resilience and determination. He underwent rigorous rehabilitation, working tirelessly to get back into playing shape. It's during these tough times that true character is revealed, and Cruz's character shines brightly. When he was around the Major League Club he was interactive with the rest of the players and fans, which again says a lot about what he wants out of his career here in Pittsburgh.
As the season progressed, fans eagerly anticipated his return to the field. However, Cruz didn't make it back to the lineup in the 2023 season. While this was a bit of a dissapointment, it is even more important for him to be right again. If giving him an extra few weeks to recover helps ensure a normal return for 2024 then I am all for it.
There was some good news for Oneil Cruz and the Pittsburgh Pirates at the end of the 2023 season.
Oneil Cruz was spotted taking batting practice, a promising sign that he definitely was inching closer to making his comeback. The home runs were impressive shots and at the very least show that he can take typical swings.
Oneil Cruz's 2023 season got off to a somewhat slow start. His batting average in 2023 stood at .250, slightly below his career average of .237, with just 8 hits in 32 at-bats. Cruz managed to hit 1 home run, score 7 runs, and drive in 4 runs during the season. However many expected him to break out this year. There's optimism that once fully recovered, Cruz will reach the lofty potential that he possesses.