Fielder Looks Like DH for Long Haul | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Fielder Looks Like DH for Long Haul

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 12: Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers scores a run and gives teammate Will Venable #30 a five in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game four of the American League Division Series at Globe Life Park in Arlington on October 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Prince Fielder was the Rangers' starting first baseman on Opening Day in 2015, and he was in that role for about the first month of the season, a month that saw Fielder hit and no other Rangers join him in the fun.

    That's when the Rangers made a switch, at the suggestion of Fielder, to move Fielder to a full-time designated hitter role and let Mitch Moreland, the Opening Day DH, move to a role as the full-time first baseman.

    We all know what that led to — an offensive resurgence for the Rangers, an AL Comeback Player of the Year award for Fielder and a career year at the plate for Moreland.

    If the Rangers and Fielder are smart — I think they are — this will continue in 2016, whether Moreland is around or not. Moreland is under contract through a second year of arbitration, but there's a possibility he could be dealt to help bolster the Rangers' pitching staff. If that happens, it's likely Mike Napoli is kept around to play first base, and he's also a much better defensive first baseman than Fielder, who isn't terrible with the glove, but isn't exactly what you'd call "good."

    The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant said it best when he called Fielder the "new David Ortiz," and that seems to be a role Fielder could acclimate himself to for the next handful of years and be pretty effective at it.