According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz was lifted from Saturday’s game against the Red Sox with tightness in his left hamstring.
Hamstring injuries are never good — minor or not — but it’s even worse when Cruz is the man ailing. He’s already spent two extended stints on the disabled list this season with hamstring troubles and could need another trip if a strain is revealed when he is reexamined on Sunday morning.
Cruz has been a monster at the plate this season when healthy and currently boasts a .320/.381/.587 batting line, 16 homers and 64 RBI. But he’s tallied just 287 at-bats while most other regulars are nearing 450. With Vladimir Guerrero also struggling at the dish, the Rangers may have to whether a serious storm in the remaining weeks of August.
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.