Nelson Cruz speaks for the first time since suspension, as Rangers indicate they’d add him for playoffs

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

Speaking publicly for the first time since being handed a 50-game PED suspension, Nelson Cruz apologized to the Texas Rangers, their fans and Major League Baseball.

Cruz was at the Rangers facility on Friday, taking batting practice as he prepares to travel to Arizona to get some work in with the Rangers' Arizona Instructional League team.

Cruz didn't take questions, but you can listen to what he had to stay in the above video from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. At the end, you'll notice that Cruz says hopefully Texas will make he playoffs and he'll be ready to play. His 50-game suspension is finished at the end of the regular season.

Whether Cruz plays in the postseason is the main question surrounding him these days. The Rangers have risen to first place in the AL West since his suspension and acquired Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox to fill the void like left by Cruz.

You'l recall that the San Francisco Giants didn't add Melky Cabrera to their postseason roster after his suspension last season. In this case, though, Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters on Friday that he'd use Cruz in the postseason:

General manager Jon Daniels couched that a bit, telling the Dallas Morning News:

“I think we’re going to keep all our options open. But we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. First of all, we’ve got to make the playoffs.”

The Rangers have been doing everything in their power to make the playoffs since Aug. 5 when Cruz was suspended. Since that day, they're 16-5. The were two games behind Oakland in the AL West then and now they're three games ahead of the A's. The Rangers are hitting .278 without Cruz, 15 points higher than they were in the previous month.

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