After debating his alternatives for a little more than a week, Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his left ankle next Monday, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. The Rangers expect Moreland to be healthy for Opening Day 2015.
The 28-year-old Moreland batted just .246/.297/.347 in 184 plate appearances for Texas this season despite being heavily platooned in an attempt to minimize his long-standing struggles against left-handed pitching.
General manager Jon Daniels shed some light on Moreland’s struggles in talking with Sullivan, noting that the recent ankle injury isn’t the only ailment Moreland has dealt with this season: “He has also had lower back stuff that we really didn’t talk about that he played through,” Daniels said. “In talking to him, this might put an end to the issues he has had to fight through.”
Moreland is earning $2.65MM this season as a first-time arbitration eligible player. Despite his lackluster performance and limited playing time, Moreland will likely be in line for a small raise in arbitration this coming offseason, which could make him a non-tender candidate in the offseason (as Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News noted earlier in the week).
The injury is hardly anything new for the Rangers, who have already lost Prince Fielder, Matt Harrison, Martin Perez and likely Jurickson Profar for the 2014 season. Additionally, Derek Holland has yet to throw a pitch in 2014, and Geovany Soto is not yet recovered from knee surgery he underwent in Spring Training. Texas has also lost several bullpen and bench pieces to injury.