Moreland will be option in outfield

Moreland will be option in outfield

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers were serious about taking a hard look at Mitch Moreland as an outfielder this spring and have come to a conclusion. Moreland is still likely to be the Rangers primary designated hitter but he has proved he can play in the outfield.

He will be more of an option in both left and right field for the Rangers this season.

"He's turned into a piece we can use out there," manager Ron Washington said.

Moreland has played in just four games in the outfield over the past two seasons. He had 34 games there in 2011 while Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz were on the disabled list but has spent most of his time with the Rangers playing first base. But the Rangers acquired Prince Fielder in the offseason to play first so Moreland started working out almost exclusively with the outfielders this spring.

Moreland played right field Tuesday for the sixth time this season. He has played four in left, four at first base and three at designated hitter. That may be an indication of how Moreland will be used this season to keep his left-handed bat in the lineup.

"I'm preparing myself the best I can so if this is the way it's going to be during the season," Moreland said. "I'm trying to be ready for anything and everything."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for 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.