PEORIA, Ariz. — The buzzword at this Texas Rangers camp is grind, both because of the length of the spring schedule and because of the approach new hitting coach Dave Magadan wants to see from his pupils.Mitch Moreland is taking it to heart. The left-handed hitter believes that grinding out at-bats will help him show that he can hit left-handed pitching.Moreland had a couple of them Friday, including a two-run homer off left-hander James Paxton in the first inning of the Rangers’ 8-6 loss to American League West rival Seattle.“I came in wanting to put myself in a good position early in the spring,” said Moreland, who also homered Thursday. “It’s still early. We’ve still got 30-some games left. We’re just trying to take our time and have fun.”Moreland later added an RBI groundout off lefty Anthony Fernandez for a three-RBI game. Though he enlisted the help of a former college lefty over the off-season, Moreland said that his confidence has never wavered against them.“I feel pretty good in my at-bats right now. I’m just trying to have the same approach, lefty and righty. I’m just going up and trying to grind out my at-bats, see some pitches, and get a little deeper in counts.”Randy Wells allowed two runs (one earned) in two innings in his second audition for the No. 5 spot. He struggled to harness his changeup, which is a key pitch for him, but liked his fastball command over two innings and 54 pitches.He’s trying to keep his mind off the competition, but was cognizant of it after his outing.“It’s not the outing I wanted to have in a rotation battle,” he said. “I’m not going to sit here and beat myself up.”The Rangers were up 3-2 after Wells exited, but Cory Burns surrendered a pair of two-run homers and Neil Cotts allowed another as Seattle scored six times over the third and fourth innings.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST