Mitch Moreland expected to go on DL with hamstring injury

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Mitch Moreland exited last night’s game after injuring his hamstring and it sounds like the Rangers expect him to need a disabled list stint.

Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star Telegram reports that he’ll undergo an MRI exam today, so an official move may wait until Thursday.

Moreland has quietly been very productive at the bottom of the AL’s highest-scoring lineup, hitting .272 with 10 homers and an .838 OPS in 55 games to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 and basically duplicate his strong rookie numbers from 2010.

Michael Young figures to be the primary first baseman in Moreland’s absence, leaving the designated hitter spot open for Mike Napoli to take some time off from catching.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.