Mitch Moreland comes to Surprise hungry. (Photo credit:

This Will Be Mitch Moreland’s Breakout Season

He’s a leaner meaner first baseman and Ron Washington has informed him he is THE first baseman. Mitch Moreland shared time at first base with Mike Napoli and Michael Young last season, hurt his wrist and never really was able to regain his 2011 form. You remember 2010? He leapfrogged others and broke onto the scene and ended up one of the only bats who showed up in the 2010 Fall Classic. Mitch actually upset my apple cart a little last year when he went public with a little disgruntlement about his lack of playing time. I don’t think we like to play that too much in our clubhouse but when push comes to shove it just means that Mitch wants to play. We like those guys.

Here’s the beautiful thing about Moreland’s makeup. He’s hungry. Maybe even literally so since he has dropped 15 pounds. By all accounts it’s his job and by his account, moving out of Young and Napoli’s shadow is not a problem. Ron Washington has removed any perceived pressure by telling him to “relax and have some fun”. Washington adds that he doesn’t have to live up to anyone else’s standards but his own. Those are probably some pretty high standards since he worked hard in the off-season and removed the platoon demons from his back by working with his own left-handed pitcher.

Moreland was actually quite a surprise to most fans when he showed up. He leap-frogged Chris Davis and the much heralded Justin Smoak which also allowed the Rangers to make the Cliff Lee deal with the Mariners. A healthy everyday Moreland gives us a much needed left-handed bat in our lineup.  He’s not a defensive liability either.  He’ll get rest by being spelled by Lance Berkman. All of this is part of “The Plan”.

I know in the Moneyball days a lot of the old ways are gone. The whole “when you know, you know” idea has been minimized. Hey fantasy guys…can you say sleeper? With everything I have seen from Moreland and his ability to fight through an injury and passed two other first baseman, I’m feeling pretty good about Mitch this season.  We are putting some stock in our system this season. Mitch Moreland is exhibit A.

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Tags: Baseball Chris Davis Justin Smoak Lancer Berkman Mitch Moreland Ron Washington Sports Texas Rangers

  • Eric Reining

    I’d be curious as to what your interpretation of “The Plan” is.

    The empirical data suggests Mitch Moreland cannot hit left-handed pitching, and that he will likely stay about as average as he’s been up to this point.

  • Eric Kauffman

    I’m assuming he will be better this year. He has trained with a left-handed pitcher in the off-season. I think Wash is giving him the chance that he asked for last year. To play everyday. Only time will tell. The big picture issue? I think this is a concerted effort to take advantage of our system. Means a slight step backward this season (maybe not). And if that is the master plan it doesn’t bode well for Elvis. We will need to re-stock and he is in the same place Teixera was when we moved him. He could fetch a nice package.

    • Eric Reining

      We will need to re-stock and he is in the same place Teixera was when we moved him. He could fetch a nice package.

      I tend to think a year and two months of the power-hitting Teixeira is more valuable than 1+ of Elvis. That, and I think GM’s are smarter than that present day. Especially knowing how smart and ruthless the Rangers front office is.

  • delashmit

    We were told that David Murphy could not hit left handed pitching either. He certainly disproved that last year.

    • Eric Reining

      He certainly did.

      But it was mainly due to an unsustainable .433 BABIP. I bet in 2013 he comes back to earth.