The blows keep coming for the battered Rangers.
According to beat writer Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, first baseman and DH Mitch Moreland informed the club on Tuesday evening that he will undergo reconstructive surgery on his left ankle and miss the remainder of the 2014 season.
Moreland had been hoping to avoid the procedure, but his rehab was not going according to plan.
The 28-year-old was hitting .246/.297/.347 with two home runs and 23 RBI in 52 games before injuring his ankle in early June. Brad Snyder has taken over at first base for the Rangers, who are also without Prince Fielder (neck) the rest of the way in 2014.
In their never-ending quest to find depth in a season filled with injuries, the Rangers have signed veteran first baseman Carlos Pena to a minor-league contract.
Pena hit just .207 with eight homers and a .668 OPS in 89 games for the Astros (and very briefly the Royals) last season and then got released by the Angels during spring training this year. At age 36 he looks just about done, posting a combined .678 OPS in 249 games since 2012–but if nothing else Pena can still draw plenty of walks and smack some homers.
For now he’ll go to Triple-A and try to convince the Rangers he still has something left in the tank. Texas has already lost Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland, so it’s a good opportunity for Pena.
Recently, we’ve heard that the Yankees, Royals, Brewers, and Mariners are all at least somewhat interested in acquiring free agent 1B/DH Kendrys Morales. You can now add in the Rangers, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
With the MLB first-year player draft under way, the draft pick compensation attached to Morales has disappeared, removing the only reason why Morales has remained a free agent into the season’s third month. The Rangers lost first baseman Prince Fielder for the season due to a herniated disk. Since Fielder went on the DL, Mitch Moreland has posted a meager .575 OPS at first base. The Rangers could use some help.
The injury-ravaged Rangers received yet more bad news on Friday, when they learned that first baseman Prince Fielder has a herniated C5-C6 disc in his neck. The Rangers placed Fielder on the 15-day disabled list, but he could undergo season-ending surgery to fix the injury.
Looking to fill the void with Fielder out, the Rangers will go back to Mitch Moreland at first base. They’ve also been scoping out available players, one of which is Nationals first baseman Tyler Moore. Via MLB.com’s Bill Ladson:
[…] the Rangers are in need of a first baseman and they have inquired about Nationals first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore, according to a baseball source.
The source indicated that nothing is serious and the Rangers have a long list of first basemen they have interest in.
Moore and Moreland would make for a decent platoon given their last names. However, over 420 big league plate appearances, Moore has a reverse platoon split which means he has hit same-handed pitching better than opposite-handed pitching. Against right-handers, Moore has a .734 OPS and against lefties, he has a .679 OPS.
Moore has been filling in for the injured Adam LaRoche, but LaRoche made his return to the Nationals’ lineup on Sunday afternoon. As a result, Moore will see his playing time diminish, making him expendable.