Adams, Moreland on the mend for Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — Two surgically repaired Texas Rangers are on target to participate when the club opens spring training next month.
    
Reliever Mike Adams, who underwent hernia surgery, believes he’ll be ready for the start of exhibition games when they begin March 4. First baseman Mitch Moreland, recovering from surgery on his right wrist, also expects to be able to play in spring games.
    
Adams, who underwent his surgery Jan. 4, will start throwing again this week. He was being slowed by pain in his lower back and groin but was hoping to avoid surgery by doing more rehabilitation.

“I was trying to strengthen those areas (lower back and groin) and it wasn’t getting any better,” Adams said. “This way was a lot quicker. Once I had the surgery, my back pain went right away.”

Dealing with the surgery hasn’t been the only adjustment Adams has had to make this offseason. When the Rangers decided to move Neftali Feliz into the starting rotation, Adams was hoping to get an opportunity at the closer’s role. The signing of Joe Nathan ended that bid, but Adams took the news in stride.

“I wish I would have been given the opportunity to close, but it’s not going to work out,” he said. “I’m not going to pout. I still have a job to do, and my goal, no matter the role, is to be the best in baseball.”

That’s the same attitude Moreland is taking to his strange offseason. In addition to trying to rehab from his surgery, he also has had to deal with the club being linked to free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder.

Moreland, who also got married in the offseason, is taking the Fielder talk in stride. That’s all he really can do.

“It’s the business side of it,” Moreland said. “He’s a great player. He can hit. All I can do is worry about getting healthy and being a part of this team next year and doing what I can to help them win and get back to where we were last year. We’ve got a great group of guys here.”

One thing Moreland won’t be bothered by this year is his right wrist, which began bothering him in the middle of last June. Moreland tried to play though the pain, but it affected his numbers. He finished the season hitting .259 with 16 home runs and 51 RBI but had just five home runs and hit .251 after the All-Star break.

“I did the best I could,” he said. “I wanted to play so I stayed out there and did the best I could to help our team win. It feels good now. I have good strength in it, almost full strength. I feel like I could swing today.”

Moreland plans to start swinging a bat this week. He said the only area he feels he’s behind is conditioning and he expects to be at full strength for spring training.