Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan said Wednesday that the club has not had a chance to talk to outfielder Nelson Cruz about the Miami New Times story this week linking him to a clinic that sold performance-enhancing drugs, according to a report in the Amarillo Globe-News.
“When something like that happens, I think we need to let things settle down,” Ryan told the newspaper, speaking in Amarillo as part of the club’s Winter Caravan. “It’s an ongoing investigation by Major League Baseball, so that’s kind of the position we’ve taken.”
Ryan was asked if baseball was on the right track overall when it comes to containing the PED issue in the game.
“I think baseball has done a good job,” Ryan said. “Two weeks ago at the owner’s meetings, we announced that we’re going to test, for the first time, for human growth hormones, so we’re going to do that this summer. We’re the first sport that’s doing that, so we feel like we’re making progress, and we feel like there will be a lot of other sports following in that light.”
Ryan also discussed the 2013 Rangers and feels that the club will be a contender for the AL West title. The former Hall of Fame pitcher says rounding out the starting staff is a high priority this spring, along with staying healthy.
"We need to have somebody step up as another starter in our rotation,” Ryan said. “We have some bullpen spots that we need to define.”
Ryan said it will take a group of players to make up for the losses of veteran Michael Young and 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton. And he likes the veteran presence that newcomers Lance Berkman and A.J. Pierzynski can bring.
“You have to see how spring training goes and how they perform and what your needs are,” Ryan said. “If there’s a place for them to play pretty much on a regular basis, they would be on the ballclub. If not, then I would expect them to be in Triple-A, because they’re at the point in their development where you don’t have the luxury of putting them on the bench and being a role player.”