Texas Rangers rumors: Mitch Moreland has a "loose body" in his elbow which sidelined him yesterday -- he was a late scratch at first base, with Adam Rosales being tapped to take his place -- and which could necessitate surgery. If he does go under the knife, reports indicate he'd be out around two weeks.
The timing of this is unfortunate, as Prince Fielder spoke yesterday about his willingness to DH and let Moreland play the field, acknowledging that the Rangers are a better defensive team with Moreland at first base than with Fielder. The same can be said, of course, of Rosales, who made a diving play yesterday to get a force out on a ball that I tend to believe would have gone for a single had Fielder been in the game at first, but Rosales isn't going to be a regular first baseman on this team.
Moreland landing on the d.l. would complicate matters for Texas, given that Ryan Rua is already on the disabled list, stretching the team's depth at the COF/1B/DH spots already. Further complicating matters is that the Rangers' 40 man roster is full, at 40, and there are only three non-catcher position players in the minors who are on the 40 man roster: Alex Hassan, Michael Choice, and Hanser Alberto. Hassan or Choice could come up to replace Moreland for a couple of weeks, but I'm not sure how confident Jeff Banister would be giving either player significant at bats.
If the Rangers wanted to go with someone not currently on the 40 man roster, they could look at Jared Hoying, a lefty-swinging true centerfielder, or Kyle Blanks, a righthanded COF/DH-type who is still working his way back from an Achilles injury. Going with one of those guys is complicated by the 40 man roster situation, though. Unless Rua's ankle is worse than we think, there's no one on the 40 man roster you could slide to the 60 day d.l., so if the Rangers wanted to add Hoying or Blanks, they'd have to drop someone from the 40 man roster, and there are no obviously candidates to be dropped at this stage.
Potentially, the Rangers could DFA Stolmy Pimentel or Logan Verrett, bring a reliever like Spencer Patton up to fill that spot in the bullpen, and then add Hoying or Blanks to the 40 man roster, though I'm not sure they're ready to do that. Otherwise, Hassan would be the player whose roster spot would seem to be in jeopardy for one of that pair.
Realistically, the Rangers' options appear to be to either let Moreland play through the injury and hope Rua heals quickly, at which point he can return and Moreland can have surgery, or else have Moreland go under the knife now, and bring up Hassan to replace him for the next couple of weeks. Hassan is a depth guy moreso than Choice, who probably needs to play every day in AAA to try to get his career on track rather than come up for a short stint on the bench in the majors.