The Texas Rangers have selected the contract of outfielder Joey Butler from Triple-A Round Rock just hours after Nelson Cruz was handed a 50-game suspension that begins Monday night.
Cruz was connected to MLB's investigation of the Biogenesis of America clinic, which was accused of supplying performance-enhancing substances.
Losing Cruz is a significant blow to the Rangers, who enter the season's final two months a half-game out of a Wild Card berth in the AL and 2 1/2 games behind Oakland for first place in the AL West. The All-Star right fielder was pacing the club in homers (27) and RBI (76).
"We lose a big bat out of our lineup," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We're looking for the guys in the clubhouse to rally together. We've been through adversity before and we'll deal with it. There's disappointment, but no anger. There's a consequence for things that you do.
Butler, 27, will take his place on the roster after batting .290 with 21 doubles, 10 home runs, and 44 RBI over 97 games with Round Rock.
The Rangers also recalled outfielder Engel Beltre from Round Rock and designated infielder Adam Rosales for assignment just a few days after picking him up off waivers.
Beltre appeared in 13 games for Texas from June 23-August 1 and batted .300 (9-30) with two RBI.
Rosales was batting just .193 with four home runs and eight RBI over 50 games with Oakland this season before getting waived last week. He never appeared in a game for the Rangers.