Reporting Jeff Cavanaugh
We’ve got some Texas Rangers goings on here in January. Maybe not the ideal kind of news, but news nonetheless.
Nelson Cruz is reported to be on a list of players who are being said to have received PED’s from an anti-aging clinic in Miami.
If this is true, it’s possible he’ll be looking at a 50 game suspension from MLB as a first time violator. Ken Rosenthal points out that players have been suspended before without actually having a failed drug test.
Now the fun part: Who benefits if Nelly is suspended? I think it’s the youth movement, in particular either Mike Olt or Jurickson Profar. Follow me here:
With a hole in right field, Mike Olt will be one of the name of possible replacements. Instead of starting the year in AAA Round Rock, Ranger fans could get to see Olt as the every day right fielder. Olt is one of the Rangers best trade chips, but seeing as how they haven’t used it yet, this would be the perfect opportunity to get his big bat in the lineup. He can probably replicate Nelly’s power numbers, we’d just have to live with some mistakes in the field as he gets used to the outfield. PS let’s not pretend Nelly Cruz was a fantastic right fielder himself. Big arm? Sure. Great outfielder? Hardly. Yes I’m still bitter about the World Series.
If it’s not Mike Olt in right field, how about Ian Kinsler? He’s a butcher at second base, the only saving grace he has at that position is his power numbers. In the outfield he would be an acceptable fielder and an acceptable bat, and if that’s the case, the winner is Jurickson Profar. Kinsler to the outfield, Profar into the every day lineup at second base. I’m cheering for either one of these two solutions.
The Rangers could also opt to use Leonys Martin, Craig Gentry, Mitch Moreland or a player that hasn’t been signed yet, and this could still force JD to change his mind about being done signing outfielders this offseason, but that remains to be seen. Michael Bourn is still out there, but I don’t think the Rangers want to give up the compensatory draft pick to sign him.
There’s no doubt this Ranger team is going to look much different that the ones from previous years, but the youth movement that’s coming is going to be exciting to watch. Here’s to hoping if Nelly is suspended it starts with the big name guys sooner than expected.
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