ARLINGTON -- Nelson Cruz said before Sunday's game against the Athletics that he expects to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, the first day he is eligible to return.
Cruz, who went on the disabled list on Aug. 30 with a strained left hamstring, began running on Friday and ran in the outfield on Saturday.
"I won't be 100 percent, but that just means you don't go out there and steal bases and run crazy," Cruz said.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said that since both Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock were eliminated from the playoffs, the organization only has the option to activate Cruz, because there are no other places to send him for a rehab stint.
"He's come along real well," Washington said. "We'll see where we are Tuesday. There's no place for him to go, so he probably will get activated. He could get activated in the lineup and he could get activated and be on the bench."
When Cruz returns, Washington said that David Murphy, who is batting .404 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in his last 57 at-bats entering Sunday, has likely earned a spot in the everyday lineup.
"It could happen, but I won't know until we get Cruz back 100 percent," Washington said. "As long as Murph is hot, he's going to swing the bat. Of course I'll get him a day off here and there. I'm not going to run him into the ground. Murphy's been huge for us."
Murphy is known for his late-season hot streaks. For his career, his batting average gets higher in each successive month, reaching its peak in September and October, in which he is batting .318.
The Rangers would make the outfield work by using Josh Hamilton in center field, with Murphy in left and Cruz in right.