Nelson Cruz hits the DL – Rangers offense sputters

Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz was placed on the Disabled List today with a strained right quadriceps muscle.

Cruz had struggled since his epic 1st week of the season, down to a .219 batting average and a .741 OPS, well below the .318 and .950 he hit last season. In his last 6 games before he went on the DL, Cruz had gone 2-23 with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks.

Nellie was on the DL last season three times for hamstring issues, so leg issues are not foreign to him.  Hopefully the time off will help him regain his focus.

Analysis: While the Boomstick is sidelined, Mitch Moreland will see regular playing time in the outfield. Mitch has been solid in his second season, with 11 RBI’s and 15 runs in 30 games, along with 4 home runs. His lefty/right splits are horrific (.100/.280/.100 vs. .315/.383/.616), but with Craig Gentry as the only other outfield option, Moreland will get his chances to experience “growing pains” against left-handed pitchers. But remember, he did blast a home run off the Giants’ Jonathan Sanchez in the World Series.

Ron Washington could also change up the lineup, dropping Kinsler to a run-producing spot. But that might just be against left-handed pitchers.

NOTE: Moreland is hitting 7th tonight against the Yankees against RHP Bartolo Colon.

Recommendations: While Moreland has nice potential, his numbers against lefties does not bode well for a two-week stint in fantasy baseball. Both Gerardo Parra (owned in 1% of leagues) and Nate McClouth (owned in 11% of leagues) are top-50 players over the last two weeks and have higher ceilings across the board.