Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz has been on the 15-day disabled list since late May with a strained left hamstring. It’s actually his second DL stint of the season, and one that may be close to ending.
He began a rehab assignment this weekend and went 0-for-3 with a walk as the designated hitter for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday night. On Sunday evening he will play the outfield, a major step toward an anticipated Tuesday return. Rangers manager Ron Washington has heard nothing but good things concerning his outfielder’s progress.
“Cruz is doing well,” Washington told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. “We haven’t heard
any complaints about anything. He’s running everything out and running
good in the outfield. He’s good. If he makes it through today, we’ll
have him back starting Tuesday.”
Cruz has killed the ball this season on the major league level, but has obviously struggled to stay healthy. He will return to a .327/.405/.729 batting line, 10 home runs, 43 RBI and seven stolen bases. The Rangers have rattled off seven straight wins and have won nine of their last 10. Having Cruz back in the lineup should only boost the club’s potential for wins.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.