6/10/2014 7:30 P.M. ET
After crash course, Snyder takes over at first
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
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."
Moreland to look for ankle answers while on DL
ARLINGTON -- Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland is officially on the disabled list. Now he is looking for answers to why his left ankle has been bothering him since Spring Training.
It could be Os Trigonum Syndrome, which would require a bone to removed from the ankle and would sideline him 3-4 weeks. Catcher Geovany Soto had the same issue in Spring Training. Moreland could also need reconstructive surgery and miss the rest of the season.
There is no definitive answer yet and Moreland will get a second opinion from Dr. Robert Anderson, an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist, on Thursday in North Carolina.
"We need to get it right," Moreland said. "I don't know what's wrong. We're trying to figure out what's going on and what's the best route to get back on the field."
The ankle has been bothering him since Spring Training. He had one pain-relieving injection during camp and another during the season, and neither did much to reduce the discomfort. Moreland tried to play through the problem because of all the other Rangers injuries, especially the one to Prince Fielder. But it wasn't doing much good. Moreland was hitting .246 with two home runs, 23 RBIs and a .347 slugging percentage in 52 games.
"I wanted to do anything I can to help the team," Moreland said. "I went out and gave everything I had. I tried to push through it, but it was affecting me individually and the team. But it's an issue that needs to be taken care of and get it right."
Rangers sticking with rookie Martinez
ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Nick Martinez is remaining in the Rangers' rotation, and the rookie is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Mariners. The Rangers are staying with Martinez even though he allowed eight runs over two innings in a 17-7 loss to the Indians on Monday night.
Martinez is now 0-2 with an 11.08 ERA in his last three outings. He was 1-1 with a 2.14 ERA in four starts and five relief appearances prior to that.
"What we have to do is get him reacclimated to where he was when he first got here -- attacking the strike zone and using all his pitches," manager Ron Washington said. "[On Monday], he lost command of his fastball but had his other stuff working. If we can get them all working at the same time, we'll get the Nick Martinez we thought we had earlier in the season."
Texas' other options include either left-hander Robbie Ross or veteran right-hander Scott Baker replacing Martinez in the rotation. But the Rangers made no changes to their pitching staff on Tuesday, as Washington said he had a sufficiently rested bullpen for the two-game series against the Marlins.
• The Rangers are expected to make a formal announcement on Wednesday to announce the signing of pitcher Luis Ortiz, who was their first pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. He wass scheduled to undergo a physical on Tuesday.
• Second baseman Rougned Odor returned to the Rangers' lineup on Tuesday after leaving Sunday's game with a sprained right shoulder.
• The Rangers scored seven runs on Monday despite going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. They are only the sixth team to score at least seven runs and go hitless in at least 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position since 1974.
• Baker was needed for five innings in relief on Monday. He has thrown at least five innings of relief in three outings so far this season. The last Rangers pitcher to do so was Jamie Moyer in 1990. There have been nine relief outings of five-plus innings in the Majors this season, and Baker has three of them. No other reliever has more than one.
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.