Rangers’ struggling lineup gets Mitch Moreland back

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Texas’ lineup has been brutally bad this month, averaging an AL-worst 3.4 runs per game, so the Rangers will hope that Mitch Moreland’s return from the disabled list can provide a spark.

Moreland has been out since mid-June with a strained hamstring, but hit .272 with 10 homers and an .838 OPS in 55 games prior to the injury.

In his absence the Rangers have used Michael Young as their primary first baseman while cycling an assortment of players through the designated hitter spot.

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.