Cruz still in Rangers lineup pending MLB decision
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nelson Cruz was in the Texas Rangers lineup Wednesday night despite a bruised left quad and uncertainty of whether he would be suspended by Major League Baseball in its drug investigation related to the Biogenesis case.
Rangers manager Ron Washington and general manager Jon Daniels both said before the game against the Los Angeles Angels that they had heard nothing official about Cruz’s potential punishment.
“All I know is what you guys know,” Washington told reporters.
Daniels knows there is the possibility of losing Cruz, but said whatever will happen is out of the Rangers’ hands.
“I don’t think anybody’s comfortable losing a significant part of your club,” he said. “I don’t want to sound like it doesn’t bother us. Obviously it does. ... You don’t want it hanging out there, but it’s something that’s out of our control.”
Cruz, an All-Star this season who leads the Rangers with 25 home runs and 73 RBIs after his solo shot in the second inning Wednesday, wasn’t in the clubhouse when it was open to reporters before the game. The team didn’t take pregame batting practice on the field because the temperature exceeded 100 degrees.
Texas has a makeup game at home against Arizona on Thursday. That will be the Rangers’ 109th game in the 162-game season.
MLB is expected to announce discipline for several players, likely at least 50 games each, by the end of the weekend.
Cruz came out of Tuesday night’s game after being hit by a ball while he ran out a fielder’s choice grounder.
If Cruz is suspended 50 games for a first offense under baseball’s drug program, he could lose more than $3.2 million — including $2,732,240 in salary for the rest of this season and another $500,000 in potential performance bonuses based on the number of plate appearance that would likely become unattainable. He is eligible for free agency after the season.
The non-waiver trade deadline passed Wednesday without the Rangers adding a right-handed bat that could potentially help fill the void if Cruz is suspended.
“We’re here to announce the Matt Garza trade,” Daniels said jokingly, referring to the right-hander Texas acquired from the Chicago Cubs nine days earlier.
Daniels said the Rangers explored possible deals to get another hitter.
“They just didn’t come to a head,” Daniels said. “It wasn’t for a lack of interest or lack of effort. It was more lack of supply and lack of fit.”
Daniels acknowledged that Cruz could be lost for an extended period.
“He’s in the lineup tonight,” Daniels said. “Until we hear otherwise, he’s part of this team.”
The GM also said the Rangers haven’t had any conversations with Cruz about whether he would appeal any suspension.
“I don’t what he’s thinking on that,” he said.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.