When the MLB’s regular season gets underway, Pittsburgh Pirates fans will have to wait to watch one of the club’s top prospects.
According to the Pirates’ official Twitter, the team has optioned shortstop Oneil Cruz to triple-A Indianapolis.
We have optioned INF Oneil Cruz to Triple-A Indianapolis.
In addition, LHP Cam Alldred and RHP Beau Sulser have been reassigned to minor league camp.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) March 29, 2022
The move is a disappointing one, as Cruz has been on fire during Spring Training, slashing .333, with two home runs and a 1.067 OPS across 15 appearances.
Acquired by Pittsburgh in 2017, the 23-year-old was briefly promoted to the active roster for two games in October of last season, going 2-9, including a home run.
While Cruz is continuing to learn the nuances of left field (manager Derek Shelton said he would see some action there this year), the demotion is likely centered around service time. Keeping the Dominican native in AAA for the first 16 days of the regular season will allow the Pirates to delay Cruz’s arbitration eligibility and free agency by a full year.
However, the slugger likely won’t be in the minors long and still makes sense as a late-round stash in 2022 fantasy leagues.
FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the Pirates at +5000 odds to win the NL Central.
The post Pirates Option Top Prospect O’Neil Cruz to Triple-A first appeared on SportsGrid.