What now without Nelson Cruz?
What now without Nelson Cruz, who has accepted a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis case?
|Fitzsimmons and Durrett react to Nelson Cruz's suspension and discuss the impact his absence will have on the Rangers' lineup, what players need to step up and the team's playoff hopes.
The Rangers will also make a roster move Monday to replace their All-Star outfielder. The likely candidate to be called up is Triple-A outfielder Joey Butler, who is batting .291 for Round Rock. The 27-year-old Butler is batting .321 with a .532 slugging percentage against left-handed pitching this season.
Butler is in his third season with Triple-A Round Rock and has never broken through to the big leagues. In an interesting aside, Cruz spent five seasons in Triple-A from 2004-08 and was considered a "Class 4A" player before belting 33 home runs for the Rangers in 2009.
Butler could finally get his chance because of a player who was in a similar place in his career at the same age.
The Rangers also could bring up left-handed-hitting Engel Beltre. They are not planning on bringing up Manny Ramirez, who is still with Triple-A Round Rock.
Knowing Cruz is gone for the last 50 games of the regular season could force the Rangers to make a waiver-period trade.
They could look again to the Chicago White Sox for Alex Rios or Adam Dunn, or to the Minnesota Twins and outfielder Josh Willingham.
Willingham is starting a rehab assignment on Monday with Triple-A Rochester, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and is expected to rejoin the Twins on Friday for a doubleheader against the White Sox.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.