Texas Rangers: Life Without Nelson Cruz Starts Now
It had been speculated for a long time that the suspensions were coming. We just weren’t 100 percent sure when MLB would hand them down. On Sunday, Cruz told reporters that he still wasn’t sure if he would appeal the suspension or accept the punishment. It wasn’t until Monday that he informed the Rangers he would accept the suspension.
Cruz is in the last year of his contract with the Rangers. This brings up the question, “Has Cruz played his last game for the Rangers?” It’s hard to say one way or the other simply due to the fact that he may be eligible to return for postseason play. Of course, there has to be a postseason for Texas before this could happen. Currently, the Rangers are 2.5 games behind the Oakland A’s in the AL West. With Cruz out, though, it’s hard to imagine Texas being able to overcome that hump. The one good thing for Texas is that the pitching staff has kept them in the race to this point, not the bats.
What’s next for the Rangers? Today fans are scratching their heads more then ever at the decision to not trade for another hitter at the deadline. With the suspension looming, Texas was at risk of losing their best offensive weapon. Cruz leads the team with 27 home runs and 76 RBI. Those aren’t numbers that can easily be replaced, yet somehow Texas is going to have to figure out a way to do just that.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, they have no time to sit around and figure it out. The task starts tonight as they open a series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels will be looking for revenge no doubt, as Texas swept them last week in Arlington on three straight walk-off home runs. Life without Cruz may turn out OK for the Rangers or it may be the worst thing to happen to this team. Either way, we shall find out starting tonight.