Rangers planning on having Cruz for rest of season
NEW YORK -- General manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers are operating under the assumption that Nelson Cruz will be their right fielder for an extended period of time this season.
Daniels said the club has received no updates from Major League Baseball on any investigation involving Cruz's possible association with Biogenesis, the Miami clinic that allegedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs to several prominent players. The Rangers have also not looked into any contingency plans in case Cruz were to be disciplined by the Commissioner's Office.
"I don't see how we can plan for anything other than Nellie being out there," Daniels said. "We can't go get somebody based on media reports. I don't know how else to approach it. He's performed at a high level. There's no contingency plan for your best players. That's not how it works. It's not like we have an All-Star lineup at Triple-A ready to step in."
The Rangers have been exploring the possibility of adding a right-handed bat since early in the season. They are still interested in that, and Daniels acknowledged the club could pursue starting-pitching help as well.
The Rangers currently have rookies Justin Grimm, Nick Tepesch and Martin Perez in a rotation that also includes Derek Holland and Yu Darvish. Alexi Ogando and Colby Lewis remain on the disabled list. Ogando threw a bullpen session on Tuesday but is still at least a couple of weeks away from returning. The most prominent starting pitcher available is right-hander Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins.
"I don't know how much is out there as far as being real good," Daniels said. "A lot depends on how teams perform and who decides to do what. The biggest thing is we're healthy and playing well. If that continues, that will give us more guidance on what to do.
"A lot depends on Alexi and Colby. There's no team that doesn't want to bolster their rotation, but my first priority is to get my arms around those two guys and when we can expect to get them back. But we will look at the starting market and see if there is somebody out there.
"We're not in the market for just anybody. We like the guys we have out there. There is a learning curve, but they are getting better. Fortunately, our bullpen has been outstanding and has picked up our rotation. We're not looking to add just anybody. It has to be the right fit."