During the successful run of the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic, Nelson Cruz hit .324 in eight games. When he got back home with the Texas Rangers he let them know that he thought the WBC experience would help the start of his season. I am not one who likes the placement of the WBC in the middle of Spring Training but it is literally impossible to argue with the fact that it seems to have boosted Cruz’s early season output for the Rangers.
Currently Cruz is hitting .458 with 1 homer and 4 RBI. He might just be a spoke in the Rangers offensive wheel but he is an important one. His manager raved about his start and the fact that it is good to see one of his RBI men off to a good start. To be sure he isn’t exactly leading the league in runs batted in but that isn’t because he hasn’t gotten hits. If someone is on in front of him they are either getting driven in or moved over with his base hit.
As that continues I can’t help but wonder how much the veteran slugger’s start has been helped by the early competition he was a part of in the World Baseball Classic. Some probably have it affect them in good ways as Cruz does and some surely have negative effects from it. Cruz needs to have his name on the WBC volunteer list from now until the end of his career though because he is one of the guys it works really well for. He also is one of the reasons that the Rangers keep winning ballgames. At 4-2 they are showing themselves more than okay without former slugger Josh Hamilton. Cruz is one reason why.