Texas Rangers

June 8, 2014

Rangers notes: Mitch Moreland sidelined at least three months

The first baseman is scheduled to undergo left ankle surgery on Wednesday.

Mitch Moreland is the latest casualty for the Texas Rangers in a season filled with injuries.

Moreland will undergo what general manager Jon Daniels described as “left ankle reconstruction surgery” on Wednesday and miss at least three months.

Moreland will have his os trigonum bone removed during the procedure, as well. Moreland said he’s been dealing with the injury most of the season and tried to play through it, doing everything from orthotics to receiving injections.

“It’s to the point where I’m hurting the team, hurting myself trying to go out there trying to make something happen,” said Moreland, who was batting .159 over his last 11 games.

“There’s no lower half and I’m doing everything I can trying to battle through it. … It’s got to the point where I can’t do it anymore.”

It’s another blow to the Rangers, who already lost Opening Day first baseman Prince Fielder. Fielder had a herniated disk in his neck that required surgery last month.

The Rangers didn’t place Moreland on the disabled list Sunday but, when they do, it will become the 19th time the team had used the DL this season. They used the DL 19 times in all of 2013.

“It’s hard to put your finger on it,” Daniels said of the rash of injuries. “It’s been a little bit of everything – ankles, backs, necks, elbows, legs, shin bones. We haven’t been able to connect the dots. It’s unfortunate. The team – players and staff – have done a heck of a job keeping themselves where they are.”

Losing Moreland forces the team to explore first-base options. Donnie Murphy started there Sunday, and catchers Chris Gimenez and Robinson Chirinos have big-league experience at the position.

Jim Adduci, rehabbing from a broken lefty pinky, is another possibility and would have been an easy choice to call up. But Adduci left Saturday’s game with Triple A Round Rock after jamming the same finger. He will meet with a hand specialist Monday to determine the extent of the setback.

“He’s sore,” Daniels said. “Hopefully, he just kind of jammed it and didn’t re-injure it.”

The Rangers have a couple other internal options. Adam Rosales is listed as the first baseman at Round Rock and he’s batting .270. Double A Frisco infielder Ryan Rua is batting .319 with 10 home runs and has also been getting reps at first base recently.

The Rangers will also explore outside options.

“We’ll fight through it,” manager Ron Washington said. “Whatever we can get to put over there, we’ll fight through it. ... We’ve still got 100 games left. I’m just trying to make the guys I do have believe they can and just go to war. That’s it.”

Minor promotions

Joey Gallo is bringing his minor league-leading 21 home runs to the Metroplex.

The Texas Rangers promoted the power-hitting prospect from High A Myrtle Beach to Double A Frisco and he was active for Sunday’s game. The organization also promoted right-hander Alex ‘Chi Chi’ Gonzalez to Frisco.

Gallo, 20, is batting .323 with nine doubles and three triples to go along with his 21 long balls. He has 50 RBIs in 58 games and leads all the minors in slugging percentage at .735. Equally impressive is how Gallo has improved his discipline at the plate by drawing 51 walks and striking out 64 times in 189 at-bats.

Gonzalez, meanwhile, has gone 5-2 with a 2.62 ERA over 11 starts. The Rangers’ first-round pick last year is expected to make his Double A debut on Tuesday.

Settling in

Nick Martinez will make his fifth consecutive start Monday since moving into a full-time spot in the rotation last month. He’s allowed four earned runs in each of his last two starts, but is getting more comfortable in his role and pitching in the big leagues.

“Definitely feel a little less pressure,” Martinez said. “But you still have to prove yourself. I’m not a veteran, so I’m always trying to improve.”

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