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“We’re going to do everything we possibly can to keep Nelson healthy for the whole season,” manager Ron Washington said.

Washington would like nothing more than to be able to write Cruz’s name into the lineup on a daily basis again. He insists Cruz could put up big numbers if he just stays healthy.

“I think he could put up an MVP year if could stay on the field for 155 games,” Washington said. “I just think he has that type of ability. We can’t predict how the game flows, can’t predict when someone is going to go down. What’s most important is when he is on the field, he produces.”

Cruz is counting on helping Texas make another special run come October _ he hopes with a different result at the end.

Against St. Louis in last year’s World Series, Texas twice was within one pitch of winning a Game 6 clincher before falling in 11 innings. The Rangers blew an early two-run lead in a 6-2 Game 7 defeat.

“For me it’s over already. As soon as we lost that game it was over,” Cruz said. “I know it was the World Series … it was enough time to get over. There’s no doubt in my mind we can go back there. We have the same group of guys. We have the same attitude. We’re hungry to go back there and win it.”