Texas Rangers: Melky Cabrera



The ESPN "Outside the Lines" story about MLB and possible suspensions has certainly sent shockwaves throughout the baseball world. What does it mean for Nelson Cruz? Well, we'll see.

PODCAST
Randy Galloway says that it's in Nelson Cruz's best interest to waive his appeal and start serving any possible suspension as soon as it comes down.

Listen Listen
The report says MLB is getting cooperation from the owner of the Miami-area clinic where performance-enhancing drugs were allegedly sold to a bunch of players. Cruz, whose name has been mentioned in the report, could face a 50-game suspension for a first offense. When that might happen is another question because appeals could drag things out, so this might not be something that happens as soon as you would think.

ESPN.com's Pedro Gomez told "Fitzsimmons and Durrett" on Wednesday that the likely timeline is that an appeal could take six to eight weeks. If suspensions are handed out in the next two weeks or so, it could be late August before a suspension takes effect, following any appeals.

If that's the case, the Rangers would have an interesting decision to make on Jurickson Profar. The immediate call of whether to send him to Triple-A Round Rock or leave him here is still on the table. And as we've discussed, there are a variety of options the club could consider. But depending on what happens with Cruz, here are a few options for the Rangers (in no particular order):

  • Send Profar to Triple-A Round Rock when Ian Kinsler returns and have Profar learn to play the outfield. Who knows how long it might be until -- or even whether -- this suspension occurs? In the meantime, have Profar learn the position in the minors and then come up and get in the mix when Cruz is out.

  • Move Jeff Baker to right field and play him in most of the games. If the club wants to keep Profar up here (and, as you know, I'm all for keeping him in the big leagues), the team could send Leury Garcia to the minors and keep Profar as the utility guy. It would allow Profar to get more at-bats depending on how you shift with the open spot in right field.

  • Move Mitch Moreland to right field and play Kinsler at first with Profar sliding to second base. Could Kinsler adjust to first base quicker than he could the outfield? I think so. And it would create chances for Profar. The Rangers would have to decide whether Moreland was the most viable option in right field while Cruz was out.

  • What about Mike Olt? Don't forget about him. He's headed to Triple-A, and he could ramp up in the outfield as well, possibly giving the club another option out there.

  • Tell Kinsler to try out the outfield during his rehab games and see how he picks it up. It seems unlikely the Rangers would do this with Kinsler midseason, but it's an option. He's an athlete, and you never know how quickly he might pick it up. If he does, he could play right field (or left), and Profar could slide in at second.

    Now, if Cruz appeals any suspension, it could be September before he sits out. By then, rosters expand and the options increase. But you can bet the Rangers are working on contingency plans.
  • Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz's name appears in records kept by Biogenisis, an anti-aging clinic in Miami that also sold performance-enhancing drugs, according to a story in the Miami New Times.

    PODCAST
    Former MLB general manager and ESPN Insider Jim Bowden offers insight into the Nelson Cruz PED allegations and discusses possible Rangers moves with Ben and Skin.

    Listen Listen
    Cruz's name -- among other big league players including Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera -- is in notes given to the newspaper before the clinic closed that include when certain performance-enhancing drugs were sold to players.

    The Rangers issued a statement Tuesday morning that reads: "The Texas Rangers were contacted late last week by Miami New Times regarding the story posted this morning. At that time, the Rangers contacted Major League Baseball on that inquiry. The team has no further comment."

    Here's an excerpt from the story:
    But there are also several prominent professionals in Bosch's records who have never before been linked to steroid use. According to his July 2012 client sheet, Bosch sold $4,000 of product to Nelson Cruz, whom he nicknames "Mohamad." Cruz, the power-hitting Dominican outfielder for the Texas Rangers, has whacked 130 bombs in his eight-year career without any links to performance-enhancing drugs. Until now. Bosch writes in his 2012 book: "Need to call him, go Thur to Texas, take meds from April 5-May 5, will owe him troches and... and will infuse them in May."

    The clinic was run by Anthony Bosch and after the newspaper received the notes, they interviewed six customers and two former employees and said that the interviews "corroborate the tale told by the patient files, the payment records, and the handwritten notebooks" kept by Bosch.

    The report says the newspaper attempted to contact the players listed in the notes through their teams but was unsuccessful. Cruz has never failed a test done through MLB.


    KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Texas Rangers had hoped that with eight All-Stars on the AL squad -- and all of them understanding fully how important homefield advantage is in the World Series -- they could have a positive impact in Tuesday's All-Star Game.

    It didn't work out that way.

    Most of the Rangers weren't able to do much to help the AL, but even before any of them could hit or pitch in the game, the NL had built a sizeable lead.

    Justin Verlander came out lighting up the radar gun, but couldn't darken the lower part of the strike zone. He gave up five runs on four hits in the first inning as his fastball, which hit 100 mph on the Kauffman Stadium radar gun at one point, was up too high.

    Verlander said he understood that the game meant something.

    "But we're here for the fans," Verlander said. "The fans don't want to see me throw 90 on the corners."

    Instead, they got to see 100 and a bunch of National League hits. Verlander admitted that by throwing that hard that soon, he hadn't had a chance to settle into his delivery rhythm. In other words: He sacrificed some command for velocity.

    That's fine in an exhibition game, but not so great in a game that decides home-field advantage in the World Series. Or one that tries to be both, as it seems these All-Star Games do.

    Verlander said he wasn't trying to give up runs, obviously. But he also didn't approach the game like a normal start, either. And he didn't look like Cy Young or MVP Justin Verlander in the process.

    "I just expected him to be Verlander -- go out and get outs like he always does," AL manager Ron Washington said. "It just didn't work out."

    The Rangers' players, like the rest of the AL roster, couldn't do much once they got behind. Matt Harrison allowed three runs on four hits -- all with two outs -- in the fourth to effectively put the AL too far behind to rally. Harrison retired the first two batters he faced on four pitches, but after Rafael Furcal tripled, NL manager Tony LaRussa went to his bench and a familiar face in St. Louis Cardinal Matt Holliday. The right-handed hitter belted a single opposite field to score Furcal. Then Melky Cabrera hit a home run into the AL bullpen in left field to score two more runs.

    "I had fun," Harrison said. "I wanted to pitch better, but it was my first All-Star Game and I was taking it all in. The pitch I threw to Furcal was a good one and he got it. But the one to Cabrera for the homer was right down the middle."

    That homer helped Cabrera claim MVP honors for the game.

    Read the rest of the story here.

    Matchup: Alexi Ogando vs. Tim Lincecum

    June, 10, 2012
    6/10/12
    9:00
    AM CT
    SAN FRANCISCO -- The Texas Rangers will try again Sunday to get redemption for the 2010 World Series as they face off against the San Francisco Giants in the rubber match of this three-game series. The series finale will feature RHP Alexi Ogando vs. RHP Tim Lincecum. A quick look at the matchup:

    Ogando (1-0, 2.27): The 28-year-old will make his first start of the season in place of Derek Holland, who landed on the disabled-list Thursday. … Ogando's last start was Sept. 24, 2011 vs. Seattle. … Holds a 0.57 ERA on the road this season in 15 2/3 innings of work. … He recorded a season-high four strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings in relief in Tuesday’s 6-3 win over Oakland. … Has never faced the Giants in the regular season but threw 3 2/3 innings of shutout baseball in his two World Series appearances in 2010.

    Lincecum (2-6, 5.83): The 27-year-old is not having the kind of season he’s accustomed to. … The 2008 and 2009 NL Cy Young winner and four-time All-Star has not won a game since April 28. … Has recorded only two quality starts this year. … Giants are 2-10 in his 12 starts this season. … Opponents are hitting just .215 off him at home this year compared to .303 on the road. … Gave up five earned runs off 11 hits in 13 2/3 innings pitched in his two wins in the 2010 World Series.

    Hitters: Current Rangers are 7-for-24 in the regular season against Lincecum. … Yorvit Torrealba is hitting .292 in 17 at-bats. … Current Giants are 4-for-11 off Ogando. … Left fielder Melky Cabrera is 4-for-9 with a double.

    Up Next:

    Tue. vs. Ariz.: RHP Colby Lewis (4-5, 3.38) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (5-5, 3.93), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
    Wed. vs. Ariz.: LHP Matt Harrison (8-3, 3.87) vs. LHP Wade Miley (7-2, 2.53), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
    Thu. vs. Ariz.: RHP Scott Feldman vs. RHP Daniel Hudson (2-1, 4.65), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/ FSSW

    Matchup: Scott Feldman vs. Ryan Vogelsong

    June, 9, 2012
    6/09/12
    9:00
    AM CT
    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.-- The second game of this three-game series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants features RHP Scott Feldman vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong at 3:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW. A quick look at the matchup:

    Feldman (0-4, 7.01): The 29-year-old is the first Texas pitcher to lose four consecutive starts since Matt Harrison on April 20-May 6, 2011. ... Feldman became the first Rangers pitcher to allow multiple eight-run innings in a career (including a club-record 10-run first inning on Aug. 12, 2008 at Boston). ... Has yet to complete five innings this season, exiting one out shy of five twice (both after E5's on Adrian Beltre that could have ended the inning). ... Lost his only career start vs. Giants in a June 19, 2009 (6 IP, 5 ER) matchup with Randy Johnson. ... Made two relief appearances against Giants in 2006, getting credit for the loss in one (first of two straight losses to S.F.). ... Has one run, two hits, and no walks in 14 career at-bats. ... Is a San Francisco 49ers and Golden State Warriors fan.

    Vogelsong (4-2, 2.38): The 34-year-old leads the Giants and is fifth in the NL in ERA. ... The 2011 MLB All-Star plays his best ball at home, posting a 1.52 ERA and holding hitters to .199 at AT&T Park compared to his 3.71 ERA on the road this year. ... Has pitched seven shutout innings against the AL this year. ... Has faced only three current Rangers hitters, allowing three hits, one walk and a .273 batting average. ... Has never faced the Rangers.

    Hitters: Current Giants are 4-for-18 against Feldman. ... Melky Cabrera is 2-for-6. ... Aubrey Huff is 1-for-6 with one RBI. ... Rangers hitters are 3-for-11 against Vogelsong. ... Yorvit Torrealba is 2-for-3 with one RBI and one walk.

    Up Next: RHP Alexi Ogando (1-0, 2.27) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (2-6, 5.83), Sunday at 3:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.
    ARLINGTON -- The finale of the three-game set between the Rangers-Royals is today. Besides Alexi Ogando trying to remain undefeated, former Los Angeles Dodgers great Steve Garvey is throwing out the first pitch. Garvey, the director of the Global Sports Initiative for Natural Balance, is here as part of Natural Balance Bark in the Park Day. Yeah, fans were invited to bring their dog to the dog ballpark.

    Now the lineups:

    Rangers
    2B Ian Kinsler
    SS Andres Blanco
    LF Josh Hamilton
    DH Michael Young
    3B Adrian Beltre
    RF Nelson Cruz
    1B Mike Napoli
    C Yorvit Torrealba
    CF Craig Gentry
    P Alexi Ogando

    Royals
    LF Alex Gordon
    CF Melky Cabrera
    1B Eric Hosmer
    DH Billy Butler
    3B Wilson Betemit
    RF Mitch Maier
    C Brayan Pena
    2B Chris Getz
    SS Alcides Escobar
    P Danny Duffy

    Lineups: Josh Hamilton in left field

    May, 28, 2011
    5/28/11
    3:43
    PM CT
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- The second game of the Royals-Rangers series has arrived, and Josh Hamilton and Endy Chavez are back playing in the field after recovering from injuries.

    Rangers
    2B Ian Kinsler
    SS Elvis Andrus
    LF Josh Hamilton
    DH Michael Young
    3B Adrian Beltre
    RF Nelson Cruz
    1B Mitch Moreland
    C Mike Napoli
    CF Endy Chavez
    P Matt Harrison


    Royals
    LF Alex Gordon
    CF Melky Cabrera
    1B Eric Hosmer
    RF Jeff Francoeur
    DH Billy Butler
    3B Wilson Betemit
    2B Mike Aviles
    C Matt Treanor
    SS Alcides Escobar
    P Sean O'Sullivan
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- C.J. Wilson retired the final six batters he faced in two inning of work in Sunday's Cactus League opener against Kansas City. It was the first three batters that gave him trouble in the Royals' two-run first inning.

    Wilson surrendered singles to all three and lead-off man Mike Aviles was helped along to third on a throwing error by Michael Young trying to get Melky Cabrera at first. The error led to two runs, one unearned, when Billy Butler lined a single to center.

    In two innings, Wilson threw 40 pitches, 27 for strikes. He gave up just the three hits and struck out two. He did not walk a batter.

    Former Rangers outfielder Jeff Francoeur made it 3-0 in the fourth with a home run to left off Rangers newcomer Dave Bush, who is fighting for a starting job. Bush pitched two innings, giving up a walk in the third, his first inning of work. The homer was the only hit he allowed and he walked two.

    Mark Lowe, a potential candidate for closer if Neftali Feliz wins a spot in the rotation, was hurt by a fielding error in center by Julio Borbon that led to a run in the fifth and 4-0 Royals lead.

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    TEAM LEADERS

    WINS LEADER
    Yu Darvish
    WINS ERA SO IP
    8 2.97 142 115
    OTHER LEADERS
    BAA. Beltre .336
    HRA. Beltre 12
    RBIA. Beltre 49
    RE. Andrus 49
    OPSA. Beltre .912
    ERAY. Darvish 2.97
    SOY. Darvish 142