Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz will be out for quite a while after ankle surgery, and here are four replacement options to consider off the waiver wire in your fantasy baseball league.
It looked bad in the moment on Sunday, and on Monday looks were proven correct. According to the team, after initial reports he’d miss 10-12 weeks, Pittsburgh Pirates shortshop Oneil Cruz will be out for four months after undergoing surgery on his fractured left ankle.
Cruz had a promising 87-game run with the Pirates last season, with 17 home runs, 54 RBI, 10 stolen bases and Statcast batted ball numbers that were eye-popping. This year was lined up to be a full season step, but now he’ll be out until at least August based on the Pirates’ timeline.
Shortstop can be a hard spot to fill off the fantasy baseball waiver wire, with notable multi-category contributors just not there. Cruz can ideally, in leagues that have them of course, be stashed in an IL spot until further notice. In leagues without an IL spot or IL spots, it may become tough to hang onto him for four months.
In any case, Cruz’s fantasy managers are now left to find a way to replace him in their lineups. Here are five options to consider off the waiver wire.
5 fantasy baseball waiver wire replacements for Oneil Cruz
Note: Rostered rates are as of Monday afternoon, April 10.
5. Rodolpho Castro, Pittsburgh Pirates
Castro immediately moved from second base to shortstop after Cruz was injured, so he looks to be the immediate in-house replacement for the Pirates.
Castro only has three hits in 17 at-bats so far this season. But in 71 games for the Pirates last year, he showed a bit of an interesting power (11 home runs) and speed (five stolen bases) combo, and over the last two seasons across the levels he’s played he hit 33 home runs and stole 14 bases.
Castro is definitely more of an NL-only league add to try to fill the void left by Cruz, but in deeper mixed leagues he’s at least worth pinning to a watch list. He’s eligible at second and third base off the bat, and Yahoo! has already added shortstop eligibility for him.
ESPN Ownership: 0.5%
Yahoo! Ownership: 2%