Ian Kinsler high-fives Mitch Moreland after a home run against Toronto, April 30, 2012.
When Mitch Moreland entered the 2013 season it was under the impression that the 27-year-old first baseman would be playing for his job, at least with the Texas Rangers as an everyday first baseman — something the Rangers have been searching for since Mark Teixeira was traded to Atlanta in "the trade."
Moreland's start this season was far from desirable, causing many to question if his spot was safe even this year as the Rangers could trade for a first baseman or go through with the plan, against Ian Kinsler's wishes, to move him to first base and bring up Jurickson Profar from Triple-A Round Rock.
A stretch of eight starts for Moreland, seven of which were hitless, dropped his batting average from .219 on April 10 to .157 on April 20, but since then he's been on fire, and he's showing some good signs of this not being a temporary thing.
The thing we loved so much about Moreland in 2010 when he came up and ended up being one of the Rnagers' best hitters in that postseason, and specifically in the World Series loss to the San Francisco Giants, was that he put together solid at-bats and worked pitchers.
When he's struggled in the past, it's all or nothing for Moreland. He'll hit some tape-measure home runs and then go into hiding for weeks. On April 21, the day Moreland seemed to have busted his slump, he homered. Since then, he hasn't gone yard but he's hit .429 with six doubles and six RBIs in those nine games. He's gone the other way, and most importantly, he's hit against left-handed pitching, which used to be his kryptonite.
On Tuesday, Moreland went 3-for-3 with an RBI double and a walk. Two of his three hits were to the opposite field and the other was to center. He's obviously dialed in right now and could be playing his way back into the minds and hearts of the Rangers' front office after getting off to that horrific start.