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August 01, 2013

Suspension talk not keeping Nelson Cruz out of lineup

Manager Ron Washington continues to write Nelson Cruz's name in the Texas Rangers' lineup, and intends to do so until he hears otherwise.

Cruz is one of several big leaguers linked in the Biogenesis of America scandal, as the now defunct anti-aging clinic in South Florida reportedly supplied him and others with banned substances. There have been multiple reports that MLB intends to hand down suspensions to the players involved in the coming days, and Cruz is well aware of that.

"I've heard a lot of stuff, but I cannot comment on something that I have to take, a decision when I've got to take it," Cruz said.

Cruz reiterated that he has not made a decision as to whether he would appeal or take a suspension should one come his way. If he appeals, the process would likely drag out long enough that he could play the rest of this season without penalty. However, that option and a possible suspension going into the 2014 season would significantly hurt his value on the free agent market this winter.

If Cruz chooses to serve his suspension this season, it likely will keep him out the rest of the regular season. The Rangers have played 108 games so far, and the suspension has been speculated to be 50 games, the standard penalty for a first time offense if a player fails a drug test.

But MLB could force Cruz into a corner by saying they would seek a longer penalty if chooses to appeal it because it falls under a non-analytic positive test, not a standard failed drug test.

Cruz admitted those circumstances have weighed on his mind, and have made the potential decision more difficult.

"It's tough, I mean we're in a good situation now," Cruz said. "We're close to first place and close to the wild card also. Hopefully everything plays well."

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels spoke to reporters Wednesday, and said Cruz had not informed the team of his plans to accept or appeal a potential suspension. He also said the team receives most of their information about the Biogenesis scandal through media reports.

-- Drew Davison

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