Kendrys Morales is finally making major progress in his now two-year-long recovery from a broken ankle and could make his spring training debut later this week.
Morales ran the bases in cleats yesterday and afterward manager Mike Scioscia replied “absolutely” when asked if he could be ready by Opening Day, which is the most optimism anyone has shown about Morales in quite a while.
Morales reported no problems after running the bases, telling Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com: “I didn’t feel anything at all, wasn’t scared doing it or anything.”
Scioscia mentioned that his “gait much better” than previous attempts to resume running, but admitted that “his legs just need to get used to running” and “there’s some stiffness he’ll need to work out.”
The Rangers made a handful of roster moves on Monday, per the club’s executive VP of communications John Blake. Shortstop Elvis Andrus has been activated from the 60-day disabled list, pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock. Catcher Jose Trevino was optioned to Double-A Frisco. And yesterday, outfielder Ryan Rua was optioned to Round Rock.
The big news, of course, is the return of Andrus. He missed over two months of action after suffering a fractured right elbow on April 11 when he was hit by a 97 MPH fastball. Andrus had gotten off to a good start, batting .327/.426/.500 in 61 plate appearances.
Jurickson Profar handled shortstop while Andrus was out and did an adequate job. While his defense was subpar according to the metrics, he hit .243/.315/.456 across 267 trips to the plate. With Andrus back, Profar will likely slide back into a utility role for the Rangers.