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‘You can’t replace’ Pirates SS Oneil Cruz, says MLB insider

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz is out for four months after undergoing surgery for a fractured ankle.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates are picking up the pieces after losing one of their best players.

Oneil Cruz fractured his ankle in Sunday’s win against the Chicago White Sox, and underwent successful surgery Monday to put him on the sidelines for about “four months.”

It’s a tough blow for the Pirates, who were 6-3 before Cruz went down. Cruz was in the leadoff spot for Pittsburgh, batting .250 to start the year with four RBI’s and a homer. Pirates MLB insider Justice de Los Santos says that the Pirates won’t be able to replace their athletic freak of a star.

“There’s no real replacing someone that can hit a ball 122 miles per hour, throw a ball 97.3 miles per hour, and run with a sprint speed of 32 feet per second,” de Los Santos said. “You can’t replace that.”

However, the Pirates have to play somebody at shortstop. Nobody will be able to do what Cruz can do, but they will have to make the most of the opportunity and make it their own.

In Monday night’s loss against the Houston Astros, Rodolfo Castro got the nod at short, and de Los Santos believes he’ll be the primary guy manning the position during Cruz’s absence.

“[Castro] played their in spring training, played there during last season, and considering the options they currently have, he’s going to slide over for the majority of the games,” de Los Santos said.

There’s also potential for players like Ji-hwan Bae and Mark Mathias to see action at the position. But for now, the Pirates can’t replace Cruz. But they can re-tool.