4/30/2014 8:10 P.M. ET
Prince not letting slow start get him down
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- This has not been a good month for Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder. He said it's not going to get him down.
"There have been highs and lows," Fielder said before Wednesday's game with the Athletics. "I feel good physically, that's all I worry about. I'd like to have 20 home runs by now but it will definitely come around."
Fielder does not have 20 home runs. He went into Wednesday's game hitting .202 with two home runs, nine RBIs and a .313 slugging percentage. In 2010, he finished April with the Brewers hitting .244 with two home runs, nine RBIs and a .360 slugging percentage. At the end of the season he was hitting .261 with 32 home runs, 83 RBIs and a .471 slugging percentage.
"I have no choice to stay patient until it comes," Fielder said. "I feel good so I'll keep playing hard and see what happens. I'm just up there trying to drive the ball. I haven't done it that much, that's obvious. If it goes, it goes. You can't put a GPS on the bat. I'm not trying to manipulate the baseball. I'm just trying to get a good pitch and hit it hard. There's not much you can do but keep playing hard."
Fielder also continues to face a defensive shift that includes three infielders on the right side. Occasionally he'll try to go the opposite way but he hasn't had much luck doing that either.
"He's capable of doing that but he doesn't have his swing together," manager Ron Washington said. "Once he gets locked in, you'll see more of that. He's going to beat that shift. He's going to go through it, over it and around it once he starts going."
Moreland gets first start in left
ARLINGTON -- Mitch Moreland got his first start of the season in the outfield on Wednesday and his first Major League start ever in left field. Shin-Soo Choo, recovering from a sprained left ankle, was back in the lineup for the second straight game but still being used at designated hitter.
Manager Ron Washington said Choo could be ready to return to the outfield on Friday against the Angels in Anaheim. The Rangers are off on Thursday.
"It's better but I wanted to give him the next couple of days," Washington said. "He could go out there tonight but I just wanted to give him another day. This was my choice."
Moreland had extensive work in the outfield in Spring Training, both in left and right field. He has played 45 games in right field during his Major League career but Tuesday was his first time in left.
Washington had been using Michael Choice in left field while Choo was sidelined but wanted to make sure Moreland was in the lineup with right-hander Jesse Chavez on the mound for Oakland.
"Mitch does a good job in left field," Washington said. "He's worked out there every day. He'll be fine. But if I have a lead late in the game, I'll use my defensive replacement."
No day off for Andrus
ARLINGTON -- Elvis Andrus was at shortstop for the 28th straight game on Wednesday night. He is the only Rangers player who has started every game in the field so far this season.
Andrus also went into Wednesday's game with one hit in his last 26 at-bats, but manager Ron Washington said he didn't consider giving him a day off. One reason is infielder Donnie Murphy has been dealing with a bruised left foot the last couple of days. But also Washington doesn't see anything physically or mentally wrong with Andrus right now.
"Tiredness has nothing to do with it," Washington said. "He's just not having good at-bats. Elvis is fine right now."
Andrus went into Wednesday's game hitting .235, which would be the lowest for the month of April in his career. His .316 slugging percentage would also be a career low.
"I feel a little lost but that's baseball," Andrus said. "I can't do too much, I'm just trying to get some details down on my swing. A day off is nice but what I really need is to have a good game tonight."
Tickets available for Nadel bash
ARLINGTON -- Good standing-room tickets are still available for the third annual Eric Nadel Birthday Benefit Concert on May 15 at the Kessler Theater in Dallas. Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert are available at www.thekessler.org.
Country singer Hal Ketchum and rock-blues-rap vocalist Daphne Willis will headline the concert, which will benefit the CONTACT Crisis Line, which has served the Metroplex for 45 years.
"It is a free counseling hotline that anyone can call for any reason," Nadel said. "My wife Jeannie has been a volunteer crisis counselor there for 17 years, and I have volunteered my help to make sure that people know they have a number they can call for any reason, and somebody will listen.
"There is a mental health crisis in this country, I believe, and a lot of people can be helped if they will just reach out for it. CONTACT is a great starting point for anyone who is troubled about anything. Just pick up the phone and call 972-233-2233. If you don't need it, maybe someone you know does, or will."
• Washington had his pitchers and infielders out for early fielding work on Wednesday afternoon. Washington said he wanted to take advantage of the cool weather to get his pitchers some extra work.
• The Rangers went into Wednesday's game without a player with at least three home runs. They were the only Major League team without a player with at least that many.
• Outfielder Daniel Robertson is the 34th player to appear for the Rangers this season. The Rangers used 46 players last season but just 39 in 2012.
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.