Thursday, June 16, 2011
Notes: Nelson Cruz off, Darren O'Day throws
By Richard Durrett
NEW YORK -- Nelson Cruz said he's not frustrated with his current slide, just resolute that he can get it figured out. Cruz is 0-for-18 with 10 strikeouts in his last five games, prompting manager Ron Washington to give him the day off.
"I think he's searching and I certainly don't want him to go off the deep end," Washington said. "So I just wanted to give him a day. He can get in the cages with [Scott] Coolbaugh and work some things out. It looks like he needs to get away from it for a day."
Cruz said he's still working on what he discovered through video on Wednesday. He said his front foot is flat as it comes down, forcing him to go forward too soon.
"That's why I'm not hitting the outside pitch," Cruz said.
He will use today to get some time in with the Rangers' new hitting coach and to take a mental break. The Rangers know Cruz is a streaky hitter, so if he can get going and find things in Atlanta this weekend, he's capable of going on a productive streak.
* Darren O'Day threw to live hitters again on Thursday and felt good. He threw about 35 pitches to Craig Gentry and Andres Blanco and said he had better command than he did a few days ago.
"I had to work through some soreness and was able to locate, so that's a good sign," O'Day said.
He said it was overall body soreness after running and lifting weights harder and pitching two out of the last three days. He hopes to throw again this weekend in Atlanta and then go out on a rehab assignment next week.
* Washington said he didn't see much rust on Neftali Feliz on Wednesday, but felt he made one bad pitch to Robinson Cano. Feliz pitched on Wednesday to get some work in because he hadn't thrown to live hitters in a week.
* We'll talk more about the lineup in the National League park this weekend tomorrow on the blog, but expect Mitch Moreland in the outfield and Michael Young at first base.