The plan in the mind of first baseman Prince Fielder is that he will play Wednesday. As the Texas Rangers have learned far too often this season, plans change whenever an injury is involved.
Fielder was scratched from the Rangers’ lineup Tuesday after weakness in his left arm, the result of a herniated disk in his neck, persisted three days after he was given an injection to cool an inflamed nerve.
He said that he isn’t overly concerned about his status going forward as he awaits for more results from the injection.
But general manager Jon Daniels, perhaps gun shy after the Rangers’ months-long bout with injuries, had a heightened level of concern about the player who was acquired from Detroit to add punch to the lineup.
The Rangers, once again, are clinging to hope.
“I’ve had my hopes dashed before,” Daniels said Tuesday. “He came into today and felt a lot better. No pain. Not the same symptoms he had before the injection, but he did have some weakness in his left arm. So the medical staff felt like giving the injection another day and see if that addresses this. Hopefully, it will.”
Fielder received a nerve-root injection Saturday morning and visited neck specialist Dr. Drew Dossett during the Rangers’ off day Monday. The missing strength had returned during the checkup, and he was cleared to resume baseball activities.
But Fielder cut short hitting off a tee Tuesday after not feeling as well as he should.
He refused to use the injury as an excuse for his lackluster production (.247, 3 HRs, 16 RBIs), and he said that the injury was not bothering him last season with the Tigers despite a dip in his production in the second year of his nine-year, $214 million contract.
Daniels had said on Saturday that Fielder did not take a physical before the November trade for Ian Kinsler because he hadn’t complained to the Tigers’ medical staff of any neck issues.
“I’m doing all right, I guess,” Fielder said. “My arm feels a little weak still. Not so much pain, just feels a little weak, a little sore.
“Just this year it’s been really sore. My neck’s been sore for a while, but I’m not sure how long since the disk has happened.”
Mitch Moreland started at first base for the third consecutive game. Fielder had initially been in the lineup against Seattle as the designated hitter and No. 5 hitter, behind cleanup man Adrian Beltre.
The Rangers’ hope is that Fielder will be in the lineup Wednesday, and if not Wednesday then for the Thursday opener of a four-game series at Detroit. Fielder just wants to be healthy.
“I’m not too concerned now because there’s nothing I do right now besides give it the extra day,” Fielder said. “I plan on playing tomorrow. That’s the plan. Hopefully, another day will do it.
“I don’t [care] about the Detroit series. I just want to get back.”