Well, we've got confirmation on the severity of Mitch Moreland's left hamstring strain this afternoon, and, as many of us suspected, he'll be out for 4-6 weeks, with his placement on the disabled list being retroactive to June 20th. It seems reasonable to surmise that we're dealing with a Grade II strain, which is more serious than a minor Grade I strain, but obviously far less serious than a severe Grade III strain. His removal from the 25-man roster allows the Rangers to add Roy Oswalt to the starting rotation with minimal fuss from a transactional standpoint.
And to get Oswalt onto the 40-man roster, the Rangers have reportedly designated Triple-A Round Rock right-hander Mark Hamburger for assignment, which leaves the 40-man roster packed to capacity at 40 players. This seems to be a case where the Rangers had very few viable remaining options in terms of clearing 40-man roster space, but this one option made abundant sense, as Hamburger was getting rocked by the Pacific Coast League, and, in addition to not being anything close to a major loss in talent, will probably not be claimed off waivers. There's also still the option of the Rangers re-signing Hamburger to a minor league deal, as we've seen happen before after various DFAs.
Hamburger had enjoyed a pretty cool little journey up through the professional ranks, as he went undrafted out of high school, was signed by the Twins after performing well in an open tryout back in 2007, ended up in the Texas organization after being dealt for Eddie Guardado back in 2008, and got the call to the big leagues late last August. The story has taken an unfortunate turn from that point onward, though, as Jason Cole notes that his formerly plus fastball -- which sat 91-96 mph last year with command -- is now down into the upper-80s to low-90s, and if the velocity doesn't rebound, you're talking about somebody who will need to take a big step forward with his secondary offerings in order to reinsert himself into an organization's major league plans.
As far as Moreland is concerned, I would expect to see a healthy dose of Michael Young holding down first base over the next 4-6 weeks, with spot work by Mike Napoli and Brandon Snyder. The main issue here is that Moreland had been a serious offensive asset against right-handed pitchers thus far this season (147 PA, .291/.342/.552, .378 wOBA, 135 wRC+), and there's no easy way to replace that lost production, unless you go out and swing a deal for a Jim Thome-esque 1B/DH type, or unless the existing bats that have struggled so heavily against right-handers to this point (e.g. Young, who has batted a paltry .234/.261/.310 against right-handers this year) step their game up.
In a tangentially related development, the Rangers are rolling Young out there at third base tonight for Oswalt's first start (and for the second time in the last five games), with Adrian Beltre getting both the off day and now an additional night off from defensive responsibilities on top of that. I don't pretend to understand what's going on to merit Beltre DHing twice in a five-game span, but it does strike me as at least a little bit strange, and you almost wonder if the hamstring is acting up again, or some such.