Before you tell me to go and jump off a bridge because I have clearly lost my marbles, at least hear me out. The title wasn’t “Mitch Moreland is the key to the Rangers success” after all. After the Rangers went out and acquired All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder, we all wondered what would become of our current first baseman, since it is clear from past seasons that Prince doesn’t really take days off. Mitch is a great defensive first baseman and he has power, when he is healthy and before injury. The last two seasons in a row Mitch has been on a roll before he sustained some sort of injury, and both seasons he wasn’t the same player after said injury.
So why could a guy like that be the key to the Rangers success? Because the Rangers desperately needed a DH with power last season when Lance Berkman proved once and for all that he was too old to play in the major leagues anymore, and the Rangers never really found anyone to fill the void left by Berkman and the Michael Young trade. I even wrote an article half way through the 2013 season stating that Michael Young should have never been dealt, and he would have been way better than Lance Berkman (you can read it here). A healthy Mitch Moreland could be just what the Rangers need to put them over the hump, I know the last season ended in a disappointing way, but the Rangers just barely missed the post season, and in fact had to play a game 163 to decide that. Heck, if Mitch would have stayed healthy last season, the Rangers may have made the post season. But either way, we can all admit that when Mitch is on he is really on and when he is off he is really off. And last season the Rangers seemed to be off with him. I am not saying that it will be some kind of magic formula that will make the team hot just because Moreland is, but if Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre and Mitch can all start jacking home-runs at the same time, this will be a hard team to stop. And that will be very important now that Derek Holland will miss significant time.
So is Moreland the key? I have no idea, but he could be. If he can embrace his new role and shine, the Rangers have a chance to do something special this season, and if he doesn’t, I personally believe that the Rangers will struggle.