Will Nelson Cruz be suspended by Major League Baseball?


Scooping the Texas Rangers banner -- Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz makes a face after an at-bat.
Losing Nelson Cruz to suspension would be a significant blow to the Texas Rangers offense. (Keith Allison)

The Texas Rangers may have to prepare for life without Nelson Cruz, the guy who leads the entire American League in home runs, and the guy who has helped carry the offense from one game to another.

However, there are some who believe, due to not having a positive test to prove anything, that Major League Baseball won’t be able to suspend him for any length of time, let alone the 50 games for a first offense.

But there are also those who wonder if the Rangers acquired Manny Ramirez because they knew what was about to come down the pike? Do general manager Jon Daniels, and the rest of the Rangers’ front office, know something the rest of us do not? Do they know for a fact Nelson Cruz is about to be lost for 50 games or more?

According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Major League Baseball could be a week away from suspending a list of 20 or more players. A list that includes Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. However, the original list released prior to the 2013 season had Nelson Cruz’s name on it which could be leading to the assumption that Cruz could, in fact, be on his way out.

The Rangers, as of right now, have to be hoping their right fielder will not be part of whatever suspensions MLB hands down. They have to be hoping they won’t have to make other plans and find another bat to fill in what will be a significant hole in the lineup.

If you’ve read my Texas Rangers trade board, you know I’ve talked about Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios at length, and it’s well known that Texas has had scouts watching the team over the last few weeks. It certainly helps their interest after getting six hits Tuesday night, including four against former AL Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander.

The timing is certainly questionable, especially if commissioner Bud Selig allows Nelson Cruz to play in the All-Star Game before suspending him.

Ask Rangers fans and they’ll tell you, though they don’t want to lose his bat in the lineup for any length of time, they would rather see a suspension now than lose him for the entire playoffs.

So, we sit and we wait on the edge of our seats over the next week before we find out if the Rangers will need to bring Manny Ramirez back to the big leagues or make a deal for another outfielder to replace a guy they really would rather not be without.

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