MLB notebook: Rangers' Moreland to have ankle surgery
Mitch Moreland tried to play through pain in his left ankle because Prince Fielder and about a dozen other Texas teammates had been sidelined by a dizzying array of injuries.
Fielder's replacement at first base just couldn't do it anymore.
Moreland will miss about three months for surgery on an ankle that's been bothering him all season. The timing could mean that he's finished for the year, just as Fielder is after neck surgery late last month.
“I felt like I was obligated to the team to go out there and give it what I had,” Moreland said Sunday. “I felt like I did that for the most part until it came to a point where I can't do it.”
The 28-year-old Moreland had two injections to ease the pain, and he said the most recent shot lasted about five days. He finally went to manager Ron Washington to say the pain was just too strong.
“It's to the point where I'm hurting the team, hurting myself trying to go out there and make something happen,” said Moreland, who knew surgery was coming but wanted to wait until the offseason. “It's hurting pretty bad.”
The Rangers, who didn't plan an immediate roster move Sunday, lead the majors in both disabled list uses with 18 and current players on the DL at 12. Moreland will become the 13th once they decide what to do about first base. Utilityman Donnie Murphy started Sunday against Cleveland.
“It's hard to put your finger on it,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “It's been a little bit everything — ankles, backs, necks, elbows, legs, shin bones. We haven't been able to connect the dots.”
Fielder, acquired in an offseason trade that sent popular second baseman Ian Kinsler to Detroit, was supposed to restore some power to an offense that dipped significantly in 2013.
But Fielder hit just three home runs in 150 at-bats before acknowledging that he was dealing with neck pain that even went back to last season. He had surgery to fuse two disks in his neck.
Moreland had a career-high 23 homers last year while hitting just .232. But he has gone deep just twice in 167 at-bats this year and is hitting .246.
Alvarez hurt, streak ends
Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez was forced to leave Sunday's game against the Chicago Cubs because of a left hip strain.
With one out in the sixth inning, Chicago's Luis Valbuena grounded to first baseman Garrett Jones. Jones' toss to first was high and Alvarez strained to tap the base with his right foot but missed.
Alvarez extended his scoreless innings streak to 26, but the run ended when Nate Schierholtz tripled down the line against Dan Jennings to drive in two inherited baserunners.
Around the league
The Twins confirmed that they signed free-agent first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales to a one-year, prorated $12 million contract. Morales, who has been in Miami working out while waiting to sign, hit .277 with 23 home runs and 80 RBIs in 156 games with the Mariners last season. Minnesota released Jason Kubel, who appeared in 798 games over parts of eight seasons with the Twins. ... Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was held out of Sunday's starting lineup against the Royals after his ailing right wrist felt sore from a game the previous night. Yankees manager Joe Girardi expects to put Teixeira back in the lineup for Monday's series finale.... Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday was scratched from the lineup against the Blue Jays because of a sore lower back. ... The Orioles activated right-hander Tommy Hunter from the 15-day disabled list. Hunter, sidelined with a left groin strain, is 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA. ... The Astros recalled left-hander Rudy Owens from Triple-A Oklahoma City and sent down right-handed reliever Paul Clemens. Owens, who came to Houston from the Pirates as part of the Wandy Rodriguez trade in July 2012, will pitch out of the bullpen.
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