Foul Territory

March 20, 2014

Andrus, Moreland expect to be ready for Opening Day

The Rangers are taking a cautious approach, but each player downplays the severity of his nagging injury.

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Shortstop Elvis Andrus and designated hitter Mitch Moreland, both nursing late-camp injuries, said on Thursday that they will be ready for Opening Day. They expect to back in the Texas Rangers’ lineup no later than early next week.

Each player was limited during the morning workout and will meet with team physician Dr. Keith Meister on Friday. Andrus won’t throw until Meister gives the all-clear on his sore right elbow, and Moreland hit only in the cages as the Rangers protect his tight left oblique.

But the refrain from each player was the same, nearly scoffing at the suggestion that he wouldn’t be available for the season opener.

“It was definitely a precaution,” said Moreland, who left Monday night after only two innings. “I don’t want something like this to carry over into the season. It was just a little tightness in there.”

Andrus was to be sent to minor-league camp to get some at-bats, said manager Ron Washington. Moreland is expected to take batting practice Friday, and is confident he has enough time before the season starts to catch up on the time he will miss.

Andrus is dealing with an elbow issue for the second time this spring after going through the off-season without a throwing program, something that he won’t repeat next winter. He has been doing all baseball activities except throwing since the elbow tightened again Monday.

“I’m not that worried about it,” said Andrus, who feels a similar issue each spring. “We’re just waiting for Dr. Meister to come here and check it out.”

Left fielder Shin-Soo Choo could also see Meister as he continues to take it slow with an elbow issue. He also said that it happens every spring, and he has no doubts about where he will be March 31 at Globe Life Park.

“Left field,” he said. “I’ve never thought about playing DH.”

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