Byrd believes Cruz can rebound from suspension
ARLINGTON -- Marlon Byrd last talked to Nelson Cruz during the All-Star break, but he can relate to Cruz's situation since their last conversation.
Cruz is serving a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Byrd went through the same situation last year, but as a free agent. He was just released from the Red Sox after he was designated for assignment when Byrd served his 50 games last year.
Byrd signed a Minor League deal at the start of this season with the Mets and made the Opening Day roster. He hit .285 with 21 home runs and 71 RBIs in 117 games before he was traded to the Pirates on Aug. 27. He is batting .326 (14-43) with the Pirates in 12 games.
"With me going through it last year, there's going to be boos," Byrd said. "There's going to be people chanting, 'Steroids,' and all this stuff. 'Juice guy,' whatever, it doesn't matter. It's what your family thinks, and [Cruz is] part of that Texas Rangers family."
Byrd thinks Cruz is capable of making that same comeback if the Rangers make the playoffs and put the outfielder on their postseason roster. They were teammates with Texas in 2007-09.
"It is a no-brainer to bring him back," Byrd said. "Nelson is part of that Texas Rangers run that they've made the last couple years, and they're never going to forget that.
"Nelson's a superstar. It's not going to take much for him. He needs to take some at-bats and get back in the swing of things, and he'll be fine. I don't think anybody has any questions on the numbers he can put up coming back and helping the Texas Rangers."