Pirates Lose Shortstop For Several Weeks

The Pittsburgh Pirates will have to do without their starting shortstop for about a month, after Kevin Newman suffered a groin strain in Tuesday night's game with the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The injury is expected to keep Newman out for 3-to-5 weeks. 

Rookie Diego Castillo will get the start in Newman's place for Wednesday night's game, but then the question becomes who will fill in going forward? 

6'7" top prospect Oneil Cruz is the logical name that comes to mind, as he tore it up in spring training and certainly appeared ready to make the leap, after displaying his tremendous combination of power and speed last season in the minors and in a quick cup of coffee with the Pirates last September. 

But the Pirates sent him down to the minors to start the season, likely for service-time manipulation reasons, and he's off to a slow start at Triple-A, batting just .203 with one home run and 8 RBIs. Pirates manager Derek Shelton seemed to indicate that they want to see Cruz at Triple-A for a longer period.  

"Everybody in our system who’s on the roster at the upper levels will be given consideration” but added that “there’s still work (for Cruz) to be done. We’re focusing on what that work is. 

One thing that's apparent, at least from this look, is that the kid can handle short:

In another move, All-Star outfielder Bryan Reynolds was reinstated from the Covid injured list.  

Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports