The injury casts doubt on Moreland's availability for the March 31 opener against Philadelphia. The club said his injury is similar in severity to the strained intercostal muscle that forced OF Alex Rios to miss eight days this spring.
“Hopefully, he recovers as fast as Rios did,” manager Ron Washington said.
The Rangers can begin putting players on the 15-day disabled list on Friday. If the club were to take that step, Moreland could miss as few as four games.
Moreland, 28, was set to be the Rangers primary designated hitter this season, at least against right-handed starters. He hit .232/.299/.437 with 24 doubles, 23 homers and 60 RBI last season.
Might this open up the DH spot for youngster Michael Choice to take over full-time? Choice entered Tuesday hitting .378/.395/.676 with three doubles, a triple and six homers in 39 spring plate appearances. The Arlington native was acquired in the trade that sent Craig Gentry and Josh Lindblom to the A's this past winter.