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Moreland gets job back at first base

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DETROIT -- Mitch Moreland has his old job back. With Prince Fielder on the disabled list and preparing for season-ending surgery, Moreland is back to being the Rangers' everyday first baseman.

Moreland, who has made 20 of his first 30 starts at designated hitter, will play there against both right-handers and left-handers.

"I'm not going to prepare any different than the way I have all season," Moreland said. "It's not something new. It is what I've done for the most part since I've been here."

Moreland went into Friday's game hitting .275 with two home runs, 15 RBIs and a .413 slugging percentage. He has played sparingly against left-handers and is 2-for-15 off them. But the Rangers began a stretch on Friday where they could potentially face at least 10 consecutive right-handed starting pitchers.

"I'm going to put Mitch's name in the lineup and let him relax," manager Ron Washington said. "I'm not putting any pressure on Mitch Moreland. He's my first baseman, just go out and play. We can't replace Prince Fielder's production. We don't have that guy. Prince is on the disabled list. Nobody can replace him. Let Mitch be Mitch."

The Rangers don't have an experienced backup first baseman. The only two others who have played there in the Major Leagues are their two catchers. Chris Gimenez has played 22 games at first and Robinson Chirinos has played five. Brett Nicholas and Adam Rosales are currently playing first base for Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers may use Donnie Murphy even though he has never played there.

"If they say something to me, I'd be up for it," Murphy said. "I've never played there but I would be up for it."

Asked who his backup first baseman was, Washington said, "Right now it's [bench coach] Tim Bogar."

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.

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