Cruz sustains left ankle injury in LIDOM action (source)

December 21st, 2022

PITTSBURGH -- Oneil Cruz sustained a left ankle injury while playing with Tigres del Licey of the Dominican Republic Professional Baseball League, a source told On Wednesday, general manager Ben Cherington said he believes the injury to be minor.

“He does have some swelling. He’s not going to play right now and let that calm down,” Cherington said. “I think given the holidays, we're going to look to try to get him to the States after the holidays just to be very sure about what's going on. But all reports so far are that it’s a relatively minor thing. It should pass without being too much of an issue.”

In 12 games with Tigres del Licey, Cruz hit .250/.367/.425 with two home runs, the latter of which cleared Estadio Cibao's Green Monster-esque center-field wall.

With the Pirates having traded shortstop Kevin Newman to the Reds in November, Cruz stands to be Pittsburgh's starting shortstop come Opening Day.

In 2022, Cruz hit .233/.294/.450 with 17 home runs, 10 stolen bases and a 106 wRC+, receiving two third-place votes for National League Rookie of the Year. As a rookie, Cruz broke the Statcast record for hardest-hit ball (122.4 mph) and hardest-thrown infield assist (97.8 mph).