Washington wants Cruz balanced at plate

Washington wants Cruz balanced at plate

Washington wants Cruz balanced at plate
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said for Nelson Cruz to stay hot after his eight-RBI performance on Friday, he has to make sure his body stays balanced.

Washington said sometimes Cruz becomes focused too much on pulling the ball, and that is when he goes into prolonged slumps, like the ones he's battled through this season.

"All it is is putting you in position where you're always where you should be, no matter where the ball is," Washington said. "Instead of having to always hit it to one part of the field, and that's the only place you can hit it if you touch it, the place you go where you can handle everything. Then, if he wants to pull from there, he can. It's wherever the ball is that will determine that."

That way, Cruz can hit every pitch that is thrown in the strike zone, instead of only hitting inside pitches well.

"I keep saying it, he needs to stay in the middle of the field," Washington said. "That's not to say he's not going to pull balls. But when you stay in the middle of the field, your timing is right there to yank it if it's out there for you."