Nelson Cruz to be activated for tiebreaker game

Ronald Martinez

The Rangers did not announce if Cruz will be in the starting lineup.

Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz will be active for Game 163 against the Tampa Bay Rays, general manger Jon Daniels announced on Sunday.

Daniels also stated that manager Ron Washington would make the final decision regarding Cruz in the starting lineup. Washington did not say whether or not he would start Cruz on Monday.

Cruz missed the final 50 games of the regular season after receiving a suspension for his involvement with Biogenesis. The outfielder has been working out and playing in the instructional league in Arizona, hoping to return to the Texas lineup during the postseason.

The Rangers will be facing left-handed pitcher David Price in the tiebreaker game, and Cruz gives the Rangers a power-hitting right-handed bat. Cruz hit .269/.330/.511 with 27 home runs before the suspension, including a .290/.372/.480 line against lefties.

Washington has a couple of options to get Cruz's bat in the lineup. Cruz could serve as the designated hitter, with A.J. Pierzynski moving back behind the plate. Cruz has also spent some time in left field during the instructional league games, and could handle either corner outfield spot.

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