Not once during the off-season did manager Ron Washington have any concerns about who would be the Texas Rangers’ first baseman this season. After all, Prince Fielder hadn’t missed a game in three years.
But the starter there Friday at Safeco Field was Brad Snyder, who now has five career games at the position. Donnie Murphy, who has played first base three times, will play first the next team a Rangers opponent starts a left-hander.
Mitch Moreland, meanwhile, was in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday visiting a foot specialist for a second opinion on his injured left ankle. He will meet with Dr. Keith Meister this weekend and decide whether to have a simple procedure that will cost him a month or a reconstruction that could cost him the rest of the season.
In other words, get used to a lot of Snyder, Murphy and growing pains at first base.
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“But it’s getting better,” manager Ron Washington said. “Snyder is getting better each day, and Murphy is working and has gotten better each time he has gone out there.”
Fielder, who had season-ending cervical fusion surgery last month, isn’t forgotten. Washington spoke to him two weeks ago at Washington, and told the slugger that the Rangers want to have him around the club as soon as he has advanced enough in the rehab process.
“When I talked to him, he was in good spirits,” Washington said. “We’ll just wait and see until he gets where he feels like he wants to come in.”