The Rangers activated Nelson Cruz after a minimum 15-day stay on the disabled list Tuesday, but it’s safe to say they wouldn’t have done so if not for the September 40-man rosters.
Manager Ron Washington made it clear to the Dallas Morning News that Cruz’s hamstring isn’t yet 100 percent, and he’s expected to be limited to pinch-hitting duties for now.
“Today is the 15th day,” Washington said. “I’m not a hamstring guy that believes you come right off on the 15th day. We’re just going to have to give him some more days.”
So, essentially, Cruz was activated because there was no reason not to activate him.
The Rangers also activated reliever Darren O’Day after he was on the shelf for three weeks with right shoulder inflammation. He’ll be available immediately, but he’s not expected to pitch in close games for the time being. He’s probably a long shot to make the postseason roster should the Rangers win the AL West.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.