Rangers place Mitch Moreland on 15-day disabled list

Posted Thursday, Jun. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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First baseman Mitch Moreland became the latest key Texas Rangers contributor to land on the 15-day disabled list after an MRI exam performed Thursday showed a strained right hamstring.

The Rangers moved right-hander Colby Lewis to the 60-day disabled list and purchased the minor-league contract of first baseman Chris McGuiness to take the roster spot of Moreland, who could be out as long as a month.

McGuiness, who will be making his major-league debut, will get the bulk of the playing time at first base against right-handed pitchers and some lefties, Ron Washington said. The manager values defense, and McGuiness is a steady hand in the field who also gives a quality at-bat.

“This guy is a first baseman,” Washington said. “We brought him up here, so he’s going to play.”

Moreland was injured Wednesday night in the seventh inning while running to second base with a leadoff double. He said he felt the hamstring tighten after rounding first base but said the pain wasn’t as bad as what he felt last June when he pulled his left hamstring and missed 31 games.

Moreland was removed from the game in favor of Jeff Baker, who scored one of the two runs on Elvis Andrus’ tiebreaking double three batters later.

Baker and Lance Berkman are likely to get time at first base, too. Berkman started there Thursday, as McGuiness didn’t arrive at Fenway Park until about an hour before first pitch, and could get a game this weekend if his right knee can stand it.

“I think it’s just a day at a time at this point,” Berkman said. “It’s fine. I’m available for whatever they need me to do.”

The Rangers are already without second baseman Ian Kinsler, who has been out since May 18 with a stress reaction in is ribcage, and they are cautiously watching third baseman Adrian Beltre, who missed games Sunday and Tuesday with a strained left hamstring.

Beltre won’t play defensively on the turf at Rogers Centre in Toronto but will be the Rangers’ designated hitter.

“I hate the turf in Toronto,” Washington said.

McGuiness was the MVP of the Arizona Fall League last year and was returned to the organization in late March after he failed to make the Cleveland roster as a Rule 5 pick. McGuiness was hitting .275 with six homers, 19 doubles, 34 RBIs and a .382 on-base percentage in 55 games with Round Rock.

Mike Olt wasn’t an option to come up because he has played only a handful of games since a remedy for his vision problems was found.

“He’s recovered from the vision issue and is doing well,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “He needs more at-bats to catch up, but reports are he hasn’t missed a beat.”

Cotts a working man

Left-hander Neal Cotts didn’t pitch too well Wednesday night in relief of Alexi Ogando, walking three and retiring only one batter. But he was in the game when the Rangers took the lead, and he ended up with his first win since July 1, 2006, a span of 127 games.

If he continues to be called upon as often as he has been since joining the Rangers, chances are another victory isn’t too far off.

Cotts entered Thursday having pitched 8 2/3 innings over eight appearances since his contract was purchased May 21. The Rangers had played 14 games in the stretch.

Cotts, though, said he’s holding up just fine in his first major-league stint since 2009.

“I’m glad to be going out there and competing,” he said. “I try to keep myself prepared every day with the stuff I’m doing off the field. I’m ready to take the ball whenever I’m called upon.”

Briefly

• Right-hander Joakim Soria (strained right pectoral) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Wednesday, will throw 35 pitches today and will throw live batting practice next week, possibly at Rangers Ballpark.

• The Rangers signed Dominican right-hander Omarlin Lopez to an $825,000 contract, and he pitched Thursday in the Dominican Summer League. Lopez, 19, was originally signed by Colorado, but that contract fell through because he had misrepresented his age.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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