Shortstop Oneil Cruz will miss at least four months after undergoing surgery on his fractured left ankle, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced Monday. Cruz suffered the injury during a collision at home plate with Chicago White Sox catcher Seby Zavala in Sunday afternoon's win.
Oneil Cruz had surgery last evening at Allegheny General Hospital by Dr. Greg Altman and Dr. Darren Frank. The surgery stabilized the fractured fibula and addressed the injury to the syndesmosis.— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 10, 2023
We anticipate a return to action in 4 months.
Zavala appeared to say something to Cruz after the collision and Pirates first baseman Carlos Santana took exception, then the benches cleared.
"Cruz wasn't trying to hit Zavala on purpose," Santana told MLB.com following the game. "It was a quick play. Everything was fast. I don't like how (Zavala) screamed at (Cruz) when he got hurt. For me, I had to support my teammate."
Here is Cruz's awkward slide into home plate and the ensuing benches-clearing activity. He was eventually helped off the field and could not put any weight on his left leg.
There were no punches thrown after the benches cleared and no one was ejected. Santana batted with Zavala behind the plate without incident in the first at-bat after the benches cleared.
Cruz, 24, reached base on a walk and went first-to-third on a Bryan Reynolds single earlier in the inning. He entered Sunday's game with a .267/.378/.400 batting line and nearly as many walks (six) as strikeouts (eight). Cruz made the Opening Day roster for the first time this season after hitting .233/.294/.450 in 87 games a year ago.
Entering 2022, Cruz was a consensus top 25 prospect in baseball, and he is a foundational piece for a Pirates team that is looking to transition out of rebuilding and into contention in the near future.