Cruz heads to IL with right-foot fracture

Pirates No. 4 prospect involved in collision in Saturday's game

Oneil Cruz played 103 games in the South Atlantic League in 2018 before starting this year with Bradenton. (Joshua Tijong/MiLB.com)

By Tyler Maun / MiLB.com | April 28, 2019 4:28 PM

A season already marked by limited action for Oneil Cruz now includes his first official trip to the injured list.

MLB.com's 91st overall prospect will be shut down after suffering a right-foot fracture with Class A Advanced Bradenton on Saturday night.

Cruz missed a stretch of time earlier this month, though the team never placed him on the IL. After playing in seven of Bradenton's first 10 games from April 4-13, Pittsburgh's No. 4 prospect didn't play from April 14th-22. In a report from Pirates Prospects, Pittsburgh senior director of Minor League operations Larry Broadway described Cruz's issue as "lower body discomfort." The team subsequently reassigned Cruz to extended spring training.

The 20-year-old found his way back into the lineup this week, then suffered the injury in the seventh inning of Bradenton's game with Daytona. With one out and runners at the corners, Tortugas second baseman Alejo Lopez hit a grounder to short. Cruz collided with baserunner Jose Garcia at second while starting an inning-ending 6-3 double play. He did not return to the field for the eighth, when he was replaced by Jesse Medrano.

2019 MiLB include

Through 11 games this year, Cruz is batting .238/.304/.333. A rather unconventional shortstop in his physical makeup, the native of Nizao, Domincan Republic, is listed at 6-foot-6, 175 pounds. MLB Pipeline noted that is "not a height anyone has seen stick at shortstop."

Last year, Cruz batted .286/.343/.488 in 103 games for Class A West Virginia. He was named a South Atlantic League end-of-season All-Star, the circuit's June Player of the Month and its Most Outstanding Major League Prospect.

Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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