SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 09: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Texas Rangers is congratulated by teammate Elvis Andrus #1 after hitting a pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on June 9, 2012 in San Francisco, California. Theh Giants won the game 5-2. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
When the Texas Rangers decided to keep Mitch Moreland even after trading for slugging first baseman Prince Fielder, it became clear the Rangers were going to get creative with Moreland's role on the team.
Even though Moreland is a better defensive first baseman than Fielder, Rangers manager Ron Washington seems insistent on letting Fielder play the majority of the games this season at first base to help keep his No. 3 hitter happy and in a good rhythm.
That leaves Moreland as the team's primary designated hitter option, as he'll be part of a platoon with a yet-to-be-named lefty hitting against right-handed starters — the majority of opposing pitchers. But the 28-year-old Moreland will be seeing time at first base, too, as well as occasional starts in right field. That means Moreland has been a busy guy in Surprise, Ariz.
“I just look at what’s on the board and go where I’m supposed to go,” Moreland told The Dallas Morning News. “It doesn’t make a big difference.”
Moreland works at first base early every morning before moving to the outfield group for pregame drills. The Rangers are hoping their decision to keep the cheap Moreland on board pays off, as he's been a guy they've hoped would break out for a couple of years now, but to no real avail other than an occasional hot stretch at the plate.