Not long after I wrote this article, which essentially voiced my opinion that Mitch Moreland is nothing more than a platoon player at first base, Moreland began to go on a tear (way to make me seem like Nostradamus, Mitch). Since the start of May, Moreland has posted a triple slash line of .317/.379/.717. Additionally, Moreland has not appeared to be overmatched against LHPs in 2013, posting a 116 wRC+ along with a .355 wOBA against southpaws (yes, I know splits are fickle—just take a look at the 2012 season of David Murphy as an example, but splits are worth mentioning).
So what does this all mean?
May 14, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland (18) rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the fourth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Either Moreland’s recent tear is nothing more than an unusually long hot streak, or Moreland really has turned a new leaf and cemented himself as a true first baseman on a playoff-caliber team. I’d like to think that possibility No. 2 is the true answer, but the fact of the matter is that there needs to be a greater sample size to draw such a big conclusion. There are just too many factors, primarily Moreland’s career statistics against LHPs to fully convince me that Moreland’s run isn’t anything more than a hot streak.
There is no doubting that Moreland has looked excellent at the plate. At the moment and for the past couple of weeks, Moreland has been the most productive bat in the Rangers’ lineup. Hopefully Moreland’s current hot streak isn’t a hot streak, rather a new career trend, because this version of Moreland is exactly what the Rangers’ offense will need for the team to make another World Series run.