It’s been very easy for Texas Rangers fans to forget about Nelson Cruz‘s name being mentioned among the players who allegedly received PEDs from the Biogenesis clinic in Miami. However, those folks received an extremely disturbing reminder over the weekend as MLB announced a 100-game suspension for Detroit Tigers minor league pitcher Cesar Carrillo, who was also on the list.
Now Cruz would be a first-time offender if he’s found “guilty,” which would result in a 50-game suspension. But Carrillo’s suspension was also for 50 games; he received an additional 50 for lying about being involved with the Biogenesis clinic and after MLB commissioner Bud Selig said he wants harsher punishments for violators in what appears to be an attempt to make PEDs less of a problem.
That 100-game suspension for Carrillo should scare Rangers fans because Cruz also denied the allegations. So if the Rangers’ talented right fielder is found to be a violator as well, he could be looking at a similar suspension, which would mean Texas would have to find a replacement in right field for likely the entire season and postseason.
If Cruz has to miss time, moving Leonys Martin to right field from center would be the ideal move, although it likely won’t happen. Craig Gentry is currently slated to split time with Martin in center field, but Gentry is a natural center fielder while Martin is slightly more well-rounded, so he would be the better pick for right field. Of course, Julio Borbon would also be a solid choice now that David Murphy is the full-time starter in left field and finally, Jeff Baker is the last option, although him starting is definitely a long shot.
Regardless of who starts in a possible Cruz absence, Rangers fans should be prepared because after Carrillo’s suspension was announced, it’s clear MLB won’t be taking it easy on any violators.