Mitch Moreland will skip reconstructive surgery and try to return much sooner

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Yesterday the Rangers announced that first baseman/outfielder Mitch Moreland would miss three months following ankle surgery, but now those plans have changed.

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Moreland will put off the reconstructive surgery and instead “have his os trigonum bone behind his ankle removed.” And apparently if things go well, he’d be able to return in 3-4 weeks instead of potentially missing the remainder of the season.

That would be some rare good news in a season full of injuries destroying the Rangers’ roster, although obviously Moreland is hardly out of the woods yet.

In other positive Rangers health news: Rougned Odor’s shoulder injury is not believed to be serious and the 20-year-old top prospect could be available to play as soon as tonight.

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.