Detroit Tigers first baseman C.J. Cron will undergo season-ending knee surgery, manager Ron Gardenhire announced on Saturday.
Cron sustained his injury attempting to field a line-drive off the bat of Chicago White Sox infielder Danny Mendick on Monday, Aug. 10 and immediately went down in pain. The play was initially significant for the hyper-athletic play by Daniel Norris to get the out.
The replay showed that the ball did not make contact with Cron’s leg, instead ricocheting off the heel of his glove while his right leg buckled. His leg became “unstable” and the injury was officially diagnosed in the patella. He was placed on the 10-day injured list the next day and the team cited a possibility that he would miss the season — a reality that became official on Saturday.
.@DanielNorris18 never gave up on the play. pic.twitter.com/kCMJ4JyYtJ— MLB (@MLB) August 11, 2020
Cron signed a one-year, $6.1 million deal with the Tigers in December coming off a 25 home run season with the Minnesota Twins. He hit .190/.346/.894 with four home runs in 13 games with Detroit, matching his 2019 fWAR of 0.3 despite playing in only a fraction of the contests.
Cron penned a letter on Twitter expressing his appreciation and his frustration over the injury to Tigers fans.
Thank you. pic.twitter.com/95a31X6l9a— C.J. Cron (@CCron24) August 15, 2020
Jeimer Candelario will take over as the team’s full-time first baseman and Willi Castro, who was recalled to fill Cron’s roster spot, will take over as the starting third baseman. If further assistance is needed, there isn’t much help available on the farm. First baseman Frank Schwindel, currently working with the Tigers’ alternate squad in Toledo, is really the only option for a potential call up. The 28-year-old former Kansas City Royals farmhand has flashed good power and posted strong Triple-A numbers in recent years, but has never cracked a big league roster.