Awaiting Monday's ruling, Cruz uncertain about appeal
Rangers have 'contingencies' if they lose All-Star outfielder to suspension
OAKLAND -- Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz said he expects to hear from Major League Baseball on Monday regarding a possible 50-game suspension for allegedly purchasing performance-enhancing drugs from the Miami wellness clinic, Biogenesis. Cruz said he has not decided whether he would appeal a suspension.
"I haven't decided what I'm going to do about anything," Cruz said before Sunday's game against the Athletics.
Cruz, bothered by a bruised left quadriceps muscle, was in the lineup on Sunday at designated hitter. Sunday was the Rangers' 112th game, meaning that if Cruz is suspended on Monday it will be for the rest of the season. He could be eligible for the playoffs if the Rangers make it that far.
If Cruz does appeal, the punishment would likely be delayed until the case is heard and decided by an arbitrator. That could mean Cruz would remain in the Rangers' lineup for the rest of the season.
"It's not just about myself, it's also about the team," Cruz said. "I don't know what will happen, but it's supposed to happen tomorrow."
Asked if he expects to play against the Angels on Monday, Cruz said, "That is my hope."
Manager Ron Washington said he hasn't spent too much time thinking about losing Cruz for the rest of the season.
"I'm always in the moment," Washington said. "I know if something happens, we'll still have to play. All I'm thinking about is today. We'll deal with that when it happens. We've got contingencies."
The Rangers will likely call up an outfielder, and their preference is a right-handed hitter. Triple-A Round Rock's Joey Butler is the leading candidate. He is hitting .291 at Round Rock, including .321 with a .532 slugging percentage against left-handers. The Rangers may also consider bringing back Engel Beltre, even though he hits left-handed. The Rangers are not planning to call up Manny Ramirez, and Washington is reluctant to use Jurickson Profar in the outfield.
"We'll look for the most productive combination possible," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "At this stage of the season, that's a difficult bat to replace."