ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz returned to the clubhouse Wednesday and felt much better. He said he could play if needed, but manager Ron Washington wanted to give Cruz another day off from starting just to be sure he's completely healthy. That's something Washington normally does to help guard against a player pushing too hard too soon.
Cruz said he woke up with a fever at 2 a.m. Tuesday and had trouble sleeping. He arrived early to the park and Washington and the staff knew right away he wasn't feeling well. Cruz didn't start Sunday in San Francisco (but did pinch hit) because of a sore Achilles. He said that is fine now.
"I feel normal right now," Cruz said. "I went to the cages and felt a little sore, but I feel like I could play. I had a fever all morning until I went to the doctor."
Washington decided to go with Brandon Snyder in right field for the first time this season. The manager said Snyder and outfield coach Gary Pettis have put in a lot of work and Snyder is ready to go.
"I've been throwing from the outfield every day and working on tracking balls and my routes," Snyder said. "It's something we're always working on."
* Washington said the club still has not decided on a starter for Saturday's game. With Alexi Ogando on the disabled list, the club needs a starter for that game. The Rangers may want to wait to see how things go in the bullpen this week before making a decision. Michael Kirkman is on the club and has made five starts in Triple-A Round Rock since May 6. Washington has said he doesn't want to move Robbie Ross from the bullpen and has also added that Kirkman is here as a reliever. That could indicate the club may dip into the minors. Barret Loux and Justin Grimm have pitched well in Double-A and could be candidates. Martin Perez and Neil Ramirez are both in Triple-A, but neither has pitched well.
Quick aside: I'd like to see Grimm get the chance. Read more about that here.
* Josh Hamilton said he was fine after slipping on the outfield grass late in Tuesday's game. Hamilton tried to plant his left foot, turn and throw toward the infield, but he slipped and ended up on the ground.
"I couldn't get my footing and sometimes that happens," Hamilton said. "I'm fine. I just wanted to try to throw him out."
Washington didn't blame the turf, saying that could have happened anywhere.
"He's just a true professional and a great teammate," Napoli said. "Everything he does in the game of baseball is pretty awesome. I really do think he is the most underrated player in baseball.
"He's the Ranger Man. He's just a great baseball player. I don't think he gets enough credit."