Actually, Cruz may not play. He was hit on the hand by a pitch on Sunday against the Astros, and his status is uncertain. If he doesn't play, call it a big win for the Rangers' pitching staff. Nellie leads the majors in home runs and RBI this season.
He is another in a long line of former Rangers who has done quite well since leaving this “non-baseball town”.
Here is a look at the key players/departures from the Rangers over the last few years, and ranking the very biggest blow.
Chris Davis, 1B, Orioles
With Rangers: 2008 – ’11 (.248, 42 HR, 124 RBI)
After: The Rangers dealt Davis to the Orioles during the ’11 season, and … he has 95 homers with 261 RBI since then. Davis was not a key player for the Rangers in those AL title teams, but it’s impossible to write this list without mentioning Crush.
He is off to a slow start this season; batting .230 with seven home runs and 25 RBI.
Nelson Cruz, OF, Orioles
With Rangers: 2006 – ’13 (.268, 157 HR, 489 RBI)
After: Cruz is having a contract year for the second consecutive season, this time without the cloud of having to serve a 50-game suspension for PEDs. He is batting .314 with 13 doubles, and an MLB-leading 20 HR and 52 RBI.
Josh Hamilton, OF, Angels
With Rangers: 2008 – ’12 (.305, 142 HR, 506 RBI).
After: Since signing a five-year, $125 million deal with the Angels Hamilton has batted .259 with 23 HR and 85 RBI. Injuries have limited him to eight games this season.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Tigers
With Rangers: 2006 – ’13 (.273, 156 HR, 539 RBI).
After: In his first season with the Tigers, he his batting .304 with four homers and 23 RBI.
Cliff Lee, LHP, Phillies
With Rangers: ’10 (4-6, 3.98 ERA, 15 gs).
After: In three-plus years in Philly, he is 41-29 with an ERA right around 3. He has started 30 games every season in Philly, and this season he is 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA.
David Murphy, OF, Indians
With Rangers: 2007 – ’13 (.275., 159 2B, 85 HR, 362 RBI).
After: This season with the Indians, he is batting .270 with 5 HR and 32 RBI.
Mike Napoli, 1B/C/DH, Red Sox
With Rangers: 2011 – ’12 (.275, 54 HR, 131 RBI).
After: In two seasons with the Red Sox he is batting .259 with 28 home runs and 114 RBI. Between his bat and his personality, he has become a big part of Boston’s success.
He just remains a liability behind the plate.
Craig Gentry, OF Athletics
With Rangers: 2009-’13 (.280, 42 extra base hits, 56 SB)
After: Solid fourth outfielder with the Rangers with good wheels. This season with the A’s, he is batting .270 with 9 stolen bases.
Koji Uehara, RHP, Red Sox
With Rangers: 2011 – ’12 (2-1, 2.50 ERA, 54 ip., 33 hits, 66 Ks)
After: Was dominant for the Rangers in ’12 (1.75 ERA in 36 ip.). In two seasons with Red Sox, has been one of baseball’s most effective right-handed relievers (5-2, 1.01 ERA, 98 ip., 32 saves). Big reason Boston won the World Series last year.
Matt Garza, RHP, Brewers
With Rangers: ’13 (4-5, 4.38 ERA, 13 gs).
After: Big-time pickup in the middle of last season never did quite produce big. He left in the offseason for a four-year, $50 million deal with Milwaukee.
He is 2-4 with a 4.84 ERA in 11 starts this season.
THE BIGGEST LOSS OF THEM ALL ......
C.J. Wilson, LHP, Angels
With Rangers: 2005 – ’11 (43-35, 3.60 ERA, 73 GS, 708 ip.)
After: Since leaving for Anaheim, he is 36-21 with a 3.52 ERA in 78 starts. This season, he is 6-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 11 starts. He’s not an ace, but he has matured into a solid No. 2.
The Rangers were never going to re-sign CJ, but they used "that" money to add Yu Darvish.
Wilson may rub people the wrong way, but he has a rubber arm, and is a solid 3.50 ERA innings eater.
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