ST. PETERSBURG -- With six teams still in the hunt for the two American League Wild Card spots, there is a possibility the Rangers could play one or two tiebreaker games before they even get to the Wild Card Game.
If so, the Rangers expect outfielder Nelson Cruz to be eligible for those games. Cruz is currently serving a 50-game suspension for violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. That suspension ends after the 162nd game of the season. Texas has not made an official decision if Cruz will be added to the postseason roster, but there is strong sentiment within the organization to do that. Cruz is currently working out in the instructional league.
The American League Wild Card Game is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 2. If the Rangers are tied with one other team for the second Wild Card spot, that game would be played on Monday, Sept. 30. If there are more than two teams tied for the Wild Card spots, then tiebreaker games would be held on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The schedule would be determined by Major League Baseball's tiebreaking procedures.
The Rangers went into Wednesday's action tied with the Rays for the AL Wild Card lead. The Indians were a half-game back, the Orioles were two back and the Yankees and the Royals were 3 1/2 back. The Rangers have a three-game series with the Royals that begins on Friday at Kauffman Stadium.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less