Texas Rangers

Rangers notes: Injury status offers mostly good news early in spring

Mitch Moreland hit .246 with 23 RBIs in 52 games last season before being shut down by ankle injuries.
Mitch Moreland hit .246 with 23 RBIs in 52 games last season before being shut down by ankle injuries. Star-Telegram

Rangers first baseman/designated hitter Mitch Moreland keeps progressing on schedule, but he and the club continue to use a cautious approach.

Moreland, who had left ankle surgery in June, feels great but has eased into base running and fielding.

“I feel good. I think it’s just a cautious approach more than anything,” Moreland said. “I’m still getting my work in. Trying to go out and get ready. The main goal here is the first of April, not the first of March.”

Moreland hit .246 with 23 RBIs in 52 games before his 2014 season was cut short. His ankle was reconstructed after he was diagnosed with a syndrome that mimics other maladies such as an Achilles’ tendon injury, ankle sprain or talus fracture.

Moreland and first baseman Kyle Blanks, who is returning from injuries to both Achilles’ tendons, took ground balls Tuesday. Moreland also ran the bases. Blanks, a non-roster invitee, also is taking a slow approach.

Moreland and Blanks hope to play in a game next week. Neither will be available for the Rangers’ Cactus League opener against the Royals on Wednesday.

Moreland is a prime candidate to be the Rangers’ designated hitter. Hitting is the one area he’s been able to work at most this spring. By the end of camp Moreland hopes to get some time in left field.

Wilson’s return

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will make his second consecutive appearance at Rangers spring training March 28, the club announced Tuesday.

Wilson, an infielder, will work out in the morning and then dress out for that day’s game against San Diego at Surprise Stadium, as he did March 3, 2014. He will also speak to minor league players.

“He’s done something all our players want to do, and that’s win a championship,” manager Jeff Banister said. “I’m excited about it.”

The Rangers selected Wilson, who played baseball in college, in the minor league portion of the 2013 Rule 5 draft knowing full well that he wouldn’t play for them. The intention was to have Wilson, who was headed toward his first Super Bowl, be available to speak to players and share his insights on how to be a championship-caliber player.

Wilson, 26, led the Seahawks past Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII and threw a late-game interception in the end zone as Seattle tried to rally past New England in Super Bowl XLIX last month.

Starting lineups

Jeff Banister posted the first starting lineup of his managerial career early Tuesday afternoon.

In fact, the first two Rangers spring training lineups were posted in the clubhouse.

The Rangers open Cactus League play against the Royals at Surprise Stadium at 2:05 p.m. Wednesday. Right-hander Colby Lewis is scheduled to start.

He’ll go two innings or throw 20 to 30 pitches. Right-hander Yu Darvish starts Thursday against the Royals.

Stefan Stevenson and

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @StevensonFWST;

@JeffWilson_FWST

Wednesday’s game

Royals at Rangers, 1 p.m., Surprise Stadium

Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis; Royals: RHP Aaron Brooks

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