ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are looking at the possibility of first baseman Mitch Moreland not being ready for Spring Training after he underwent surgery on his right wrist on Wednesday. But they are still expecting him to be completely recovered by the start of the regular season and are not likely to significantly change their plans for first base.
Moreland underwent arthroscopic surgery in Cleveland to have a bone removed from the wrist. He had a soft cast placed on the wrist and the recovery time is expected to be 8-12 weeks. The Rangers report to Spring Training in mid-February and their first exhibition game is March 4 against the Royals. Their first exhibition game was Feb. 27 this past spring.
"He may be a little slow coming into camp, but the feeling is he'll be 100 percent no later than March 1st," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "With the late start, that's actually not much of a setback."
The Rangers have been openly committed to having Moreland being their starting first baseman next season, and Daniels continues to downplay the possibility of pursuing free agents Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols. They still have infielder Michael Young as an option at first base if Moreland is delayed for an extended period of time.
"We may look for some protection there now, but I don't see it changing the level of investment we're going to allocate there," Daniels said.
Moreland was bothered by a sore right wrist for the second half of the season and through the playoffs. The initial plan was to let the wrist heal through rest and rehabilitation. But eventually surgery became the best option.
"It was consistent with what the docs thought," Daniels said. "They hoped rest would heal it, but it wasn't bouncing back as quick as hoped, so Mitch opted for the cleanup."
Moreland played in 134 games for the Rangers this season and hit .259 with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs. He had a .320 on-base percentage and a .414 slugging percentage. He hit .272 with a .334 on-base percentage and a .449 slugging percentage in the first half and .241/.300/.367 after the All-Star break. He was 3-for-29 with two home runs during the playoffs.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.