07/30/10 12:24 AM ET
Rangers playing Kinsler's groin injury safe
Texas deduces second baseman more important down stretch
By Chris Cox / MLB.com
Moreland replaces Davis on roster after debut
ARLINGTON -- Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland made his Major League debut Thursday night in a 7-3 win over the A's -- and did enough to keep his spot on the roster.After going 2-for-4 with two singles, the Rangers opted to send first baseman Chris Davis back to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He may remain there until second baseman Ian Kinsler comes off the disabled list. The Rangers may try the recently-acquired Jorge Cantu in his place until he can return. After that, Moreland will likely serve in a platoon with the right-handed hitter. "It was pretty nerve-racking," Moreland said. "I was just trying to go up there and relax a little bit. After those first couple pitches, and seeing them, it really helped me out." Manager Ron Washington said liked what he saw out of his rookie. "We know what the kid is capable of doing. He's not scared," Washington said. "And as long as he's not scared, we'll be all right." Added outfielder David Murphy: "It's good when we're going one through nine. Mitch is here for a reason. He's a great hitter, has a great approach and he showed that tonight." Moreland had seven friends and family members in attendance, including both of his parents and his girlfriend. "It's the best feeling in the world. You dream of this as a kid growing up," Moreland said before the game. "Since I could walk, this is what I wanted to do. I've been fortunate enough to get the opportunity and get this chance to play the game I love." Moreland, who hit .289 with 12 home runs and 65 RBIs for Oklahoma City, is a player that Washington likes. "He swung the bat well down there, plays good defense. He's a player," Washington said. "When we decided what we had to do when we knew we weren't going to have Kinsler, we went down there and got the best player in the infield. It just happened to be Moreland." And that's part of the reason Washington quickly inserted him into the lineup. Moreland, who first heard the news from Triple-A manager Bobby Jones, said he's happy to be here -- no matter how long or short his stay may be. "I don't know if it's even sunk in yet," Moreland said. "I felt like I was smiling all the way down here driving. It's a dream come true and I'm going to take it in as best I can." And after Moreland finished his night, he was doused in the face with the customary shaving cream. "It was the best tasting shaving cream I've ever had," Moreland said with a laugh.
Hunter, Feldman flipped in weekend rotation
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are flipping pitchers Tommy Hunter and Scott Feldman in the rotation.Feldman was scheduled to start the opener against the Angels on Friday with Hunter throwing on Saturday, but manager Ron Washington opted to switch them. But Washington also said that Rich Harden, who gave up no earned runs on two hits with 10 strikeouts on a rehab assignment in Triple-A, is preparing like he could start Saturday. The Rangers still haven't made a decision on what Harden's next course of action will be. "We moved Hunter up to Friday and it will stay like that," Washington said. "Still haven't made a decision on Rich yet. We've got time and we're going to take as much time as we can." Washington said that moving either Feldman or Harden to the bullpen would be an "option."
Moreland became the third Rangers player from the 2007 Draft to play in the Major Leagues, joining Julio Borbon and Hunter. The only other team to have that many players in the Majors from that Draft is the Blue Jays (Brett Cecil, Brad Mills and Marc Rzepczynski). ... The pitching staff entered Thursday's contest with a 2.55 ERA in 13 games since the All-Star break. ... The Rangers avoided a shutout Wednesday with a ninth-inning RBI single, keeping alive their 64-game run without being blanked. The Rangers' streak is tied with the Rockies for the longest in the Majors this season.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.