Mitch Moreland injury: Texas Rangers first baseman/DH Mitch Moreland left yesterday's game with what has been described as a tight oblique, and Evan Grant thinks it will result in Moreland starting the season on the d.l.:
Disabled list assignments can be backdated to March 21 (assuming that a player doesn't play in any major league spring games from March 21 forward), so if Moreland was put on the d.l., he could return as soon as April 5, which would mean he would only miss the first four games of the season.
This is still a "wait and see" situation, but if Moreland starts the season on the d.l., it seemingly would assure Michael Choice a spot on the 25 man roster as the regular DH, and Engel Beltre a spot on the 25 man roster as a backup outfielder.
That would mean there would be a final bench spot open for someone like Jim Adduci or Kevin Kouzmanoff, though which player would be selected likely depends on how severe Moreland's injury is and the team's plans for Engel Beltre. If Moreland would be expected back on or around April 5, and the Rangers want to keep Beltre, then you'd assume Adduci would get the nod, since he's on the 40 man roster, and you wouldn't want to put Kouzmanoff on the 40 man roster, have him for four games, then waive him. On the other hand, if the Rangers are willing to risk putting Beltre on waivers, then you could see a non-roster invitee like Kouzmanoff stick on the Opening Day roster, with Beltre being waived when Moreland is ready.