Suspended OF Cruz preparing for postseason run with Rangers
What people may have failed to realize is that at the conclusion of the Rangers' final regular season contest, Cruz' suspension is officially over. What that means is that if the Rangers make the playoffs, Cruz will be eligible for their postseason roster.
The Rangers are currently 3.0 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the lead in the AL West, and they are 3.5 games ahead of the New York Yankees for a wild card spot.
Cruz' suspension gave the Rangers reason to make a move for another outfielder, and they acquired the White Sox' Alex Rios just a few days after Cruz' punishment was announced. Rios has been a nice fill-in in 29 games since the trade, batting .301 with four home runs, 13 RBI, 17 runs scored, and ten stolen bases.
The Rangers, however, could still use an upgrade in left field, where they have been using a combination of David Murphy (who has posted a line of .221/.287/.377) and Craig Gentry (.254/.355/.363). If Cruz can return for the playoffs, he can round out an impressive outfield with Rios and center fielder Leonys Martin.
Cruz began working out at the Rangers' spring training complex in Arizona on Wednesday, and he looks to be set on making an impact on a potential October playoff run. Manager Ron Washington recently said that the team would be open to inviting Cruz back for the playoffs, so if he gets himself ready, there doesn't appear to be any reason he would not play.
Cruz posted a .269/.330/.511 line across his 108 games before being suspended, and added 27 home runs and 76 RBI. He has some added incentive to make an impact in the postseason, as he will hit free agency this winter.