After crash course, Snyder takes over at first

After crash course, Snyder takes over at first

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have a new starting first baseman. Brad Snyder has played two games at the position in Triple-A Round Rock, but he is taking over at first now that Mitch Moreland has been placed on the disabled list.

Snyder, a left-handed hitter, might platoon with Donnie Murphy, but he started there on Tuesday night against the Marlins after being called up from Round Rock. Snyder had limited experience at first base in college and winter ball before his crash course on the subject began a few days ago in Round Rock.

"It's coming along pretty well," Snyder said. "It's something I feel confident at. Obviously I'm new at the position, but I'm working at it, getting a lot of reps and fundamental work."

Snyder was out on the field early Tuesday afternoon working with infield coach Tim Bogar, just as Murphy was on the last road trip in Washington. Murphy had never played first before, but the Rangers are scrambling now that Prince Fielder is out for the season and Moreland could be out for at least a month, if not longer.

So Snyder is going to get on-the-job training.

"He needs some work, but he'll be working like everybody else up here," manager Ron Washington said. "It's no different."

Snyder could help the Rangers' offense with his bat. He was hitting .284 with 18 home runs and 51 RBIs in 232 at-bats at Round Rock. In his last 23 games, he was hitting .364 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs. A former No. 1 pick by the Indians in the 2003 Draft, Snyder is in his 12th season of professional baseball, but he has played in just 20 games at the Major League level. This is his first trip to the big leagues since 2011 with the Cubs.

Snyder has played the last seven seasons in Triple-A, where he has hit for average but rarely for the kind of power he showed at Round Rock. Under the guidance of Triple-A hitting coach Justin Mashore, Snyder made a conscious effort to produce more home runs this season.

"Staying aggressive ... see the ball up and be ready to hit it anywhere in the zone," Snyder said. "So far it has been a successful approach; go for the power every at-bat."

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.