Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz suffered a fractured ankle from sliding into home plate and colliding with Chicago White Sox catcher Seby Zavala, manager Derek Shelton said, according to Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic.
Seby Zavala appeared to say something after the play, which Carlos Santana did not like, and that prompted the benches to clear for the Pirates and White Sox. Here is a clip of the play in question:
Benches emptied between the White Sox and Pirates when Oneil Cruz left the game with a leg injury after sliding home pic.twitter.com/aaso0po4bi
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) April 9, 2023
The Pirates did end up winning the game 1-0, moving to 6-3 on the season. In the very early part of the season, the Pirates having success is one of the bigger surprises. The expectation was that they would be towards the bottom of the National League Central division. That could still happen, but the Pirates have played well to start. A sweep in Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox is arguably the most notable part of the early season success.
The signings of veterans like Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Santana have helped along with the performance of Bryan Reynolds, but the Pirates were expecting Oneil Cruz to be a centerpiece of their next contending team. He showed promise in 2022, but was still hoping to put it all together. Cruz has all the physical tools, but will have to wait until he is recovered from the fractured ankle.
Now, the Pirates will have to make due without Cruz, and hope the performance of players like Bryan Reynolds, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Santana can fill the void on offense.