Moreland feels better after BP, could avoid elbow surgery

Moreland feels better after BP, could avoid elbow surgery

SEATTLE -- Rangers designated hitter Mitch Moreland took early batting practice on Saturday, hit a handful of balls into the outfield bleachers and said afterward he was "optimistic" he could avoid surgery on his left elbow.

Tests showed that Moreland is dealing with a "loose body" -- most likely a bone chip -- in the left elbow. Moreland will be able to deal with it as long as it doesn't settle in the wrong place like the elbow joint.

"There is some soreness but I'm not getting the sharp pain," Moreland said. "I can deal with the soreness. There is a lot of soreness throughout the season in general."

If Moreland needed surgery to have the object removed, it would likely sideline him for 2-3 weeks. That shouldn't be a major setback but Moreland would prefer to hold off.

"All I know is when I was out there today, it was better than yesterday," Moreland said. "If it continues to lock up, there is kind of an obvious answer. But if it doesn't and there are no issues, there is no sense messing around with it."

Manager Jeff Banister watched Moreland take early batting practice and said he swung the bat well.

"He looked to be free and easy," Banister said.

But Banister had already made his lineup out for the night and decided not to change it to get Moreland in there. The Rangers still want Moreland get more treatment and take more batting practice during the regular pregame session.

"The last thing I want to do is change the lineup and then change it again," Banister said. "I foresee him being some type of player tonight."

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.