ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington and outfielder Nelson Cruz both had the same answer when asked to describe Cruz's 2011 season: inconsistent.
And after watching Cruz go 3-for-23 in the last six games, Washington felt like he needed a break. Cruz said he always wants to play, but admitted he could probably use a day to refresh.
"It's something I probably need," Cruz said. "We've played quite a few games in a row. It's a long season. Sometimes you need to have time to recover for the end of the season."
Washington said it looked like Cruz was "dragging" and hopes he can use the off day to recharge mentally and physically. The last time he got a day off like this was in Anaheim in July after the All-Star break. Cruz hit the ball better in the weeks after that.
"Maybe this day will give him a shot," Washington said.
Cruz is hitting .259 with 26 homers and 78 RBIs and since July 1, he's hitting .385 with runners in scoring position. He's a streaky hitter and that's been evident this season, though he feels he's never been on a truly hot streak like he was at times last season.
"For all the numbers he put up, it could certainly be better," said Washington about Cruz's season. "Just inconsistent."
* Darren O'Day has returned for his third stint with the Rangers. He gives the club another arm in the bullpen. Scott Feldman still isn't quite ready and this is the time of year where relievers can have some issues, so it's important to have the additional arm. Taylor Teagarden was sent down and must stay there for 10 days. But if Matt Harrison has a good outing and the bullpen doesn't require much use, the club could call up another catcher if it chooses to shift things around.
* Because there's no third catcher, Yorvit Torrealba isn't in the lineup tonight. Mike Napoli is catching and Washington didn't want to risk using Torrealba as the DH if Napoli were to have to come out of the game. Washington said he would play Torrealba and Napoli in the lineup at the same time, but only if Napoli plays first (against a lefty).
* The Rangers' players from the Dominican Republic said their families are fine after Hurricane Irene hit part of the country.