ARLINGTON -- Nelson Cruz had an MRI exam on Saturday on his right quadriceps muscle, and the Rangers did not like the looks of it. So Cruz was placed on the disabled list retroactive to Wednesday, and outfielder Craig Gentry was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock.
Cruz left Tuesday's game against the Mariners after seven innnings with what was described as tightness in the quad muscle. But the MRI showed a strain in the muscle, and that's what made the Rangers decide to place him on the DL.
"It's a strain, and he's not 100 percent," manager Ron Washington said. "That's the muscle he uses to get around with out there. You hurt it any more, and it will take six weeks. We want to get him right."
Cruz kept saying that the injury was getting better and he was ready to play, but the results of the MRI suggested otherwise.
"I ran good [on Friday]," Cruz said. "I didn't feel it at all. But the MRI showed a strain, so the thing to do now is rest."
Cruz, who will continue to take batting practice while on the DL, is eligible to return on May 19. This is the fourth time in the past two years that he has been on the DL with a leg injury; he was out on three separate occasions last season with hamstring issues.
"It's not good," Cruz said. "It's not fun. I want to play. The normal thing is to want to play, even if you are hurt. But that's why they have doctors."
With Cruz out, the Rangers will likely go with an outfield of David Murphy in left, Julio Borbon in center and Mitch Moreland in right on most occasions. Chris Davis, a left-handed hitter, and Mike Napoli, a right-handed hitter, will likely split time at first base. Michael Young could also see time at first base, with Napoli at DH for games in which there is a left-hander on the mound for the opposing team.
"I'm not looking that far ahead, but that could be a scenario," Washington said.
Cruz joins Josh Hamilton on the DL. Hamilton, using a fungo bat, took batting practice off a tee and soft toss on Saturday afternoon and put about a dozen balls in the outfield seats. But he is still 2-3 weeks away from returning from a fractured bone below his right shoulder.
"As I've said all along, the schedule doesn't stop, so we're not going to stop," Washington said. "We're going to show up and try to win ballgames. This will give somebody else a chance to play. Hopefully, they'll take advantage of it."
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.