The Texas Rangers announced this morning that the club has placed second baseman Ian Kinsler on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to yesterday, with a left groin strain. To take his place on the 25-man roster, the club has purchased the contract of first baseman/outfielder Mitch Moreland from Triple-A Oklahoma City. To make room on the 40-man roster for Moreland, the club has transferred right-handed pitcher Mark Lowe from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list. Moreland (#18) will be available for tonight’s series finale against Oakland in Arlington.
Kinsler has batted .298 with 6 home runs and 38 RBI in 76 games with Texas this season. He opened the season on the disabled list with a high right ankle sprain suffered during spring training and did not play his first game of the year until April 30. He went 0-for-5 in his last game on Tuesday vs. Oakland, which snapped a 25-game on-base streak. He ranks 7th in the American League with a .387 on-base percentage and has the league’s 3rd-highest figure against left-handed pitchers (.403). The first day he will be eligible to be activated is the off day on Aug. 12.
Moreland, 24, has spent the entire season at Oklahoma City (AAA), batting .289 (102-353) with 12 home runs, 29 doubles, and 65 RBI in 95 games with the RedHawks. He has a .371 on-base percentage and a .484 slugging mark, drawing 47 walks against 65 strikeouts. Over his last 45 games beginning June 10, the left-handed hitter has a .345 (57-165) average with 9 home runs, 13 doubles, 40 RBI, and 31 runs scored. The club’s 2009 Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year also has more walks (29) than strikeouts (28) in that recent span. He leads the Pacific Coast League with 11 outfield assists.
Moreland is hitting .294 (80-272) against right-handers and .272 (22-81) against lefties this season. He has seen most of his action in right field, but has also played in left field and his last 12 starts in the field have come at first base. He has homered in 2 of his last 4 games with 5 RBI, including a long ball in last night’s game vs. Round Rock in Oklahoma City. Moreland was a non-roster invitee to major league spring training camp this year, batting .276 (8-29) with 3 doubles and 3 RBI in 19 games for Texas. He was originally selected by Texas in the 17th round of the 2007 June draft out of Mississippi State.
Lowe, 27, was acquired in the July 9 trade with Seattle involving Cliff Lee. He has gone 1-3 with a 3.48 ERA (4 ER/10.1 IP) in 11 relief appearances for Seattle this season. He has been on the disabled list since May 3 with lower back inflammation and had microdiscectomy surgery on his back on June 15. Last year, Lowe had a 3.26 ERA (29 ER/80.0 IP) in 75 relief outings, establishing career highs in innings, games, and strikeouts (55).
With these moves, the Rangers still have a full 40-man roster.