Prince Fielder is going to be needed more than ever for the Texas Rangers to have any bit of success now that Yu Darvish is likely out for the season.
That's a huge question mark, too, given the fact that Fielder is coming off a season that saw him fail to even reach 45 games after he needed neck surgery. He had a grand total of three home runs in 2014 after a healthy 2013 season that saw his numbers decline, at least by his lofty standards.
Fielder homered on Sunday — his first long ball since last May — and looked good doing it, giving us some hope that maybe Fielder's cervical fusion surgery got the job done and allowed him to get his fast, violent swing back. On Monday, he didn't homer again, but he had another good day at the plate. He racked up two singles on the day and drove in one run, and most importantly, he found a way to beat that pesky shift that teams employed on him so often last year.
Fielder got a pitch away and took it down the left field line for a scorching single, something that if he could do more often might alleviate those defensive shifts. And if he does that, look out because Prince really is at his best when he's pulling the baseball.