With the season a few months away, what has to break right for the Rangers to contend again in 2015?
What if Mitch Moreland can finally have a healthy season and realize the power potential he's shown from time to time throughout his five seasons with the Rangers? What if his ankle surgery really did fix a nagging problem that had been bothering him for a couple of years?
After the way his 2014 season started and ultimately end by being shut down with ankle problems and then opting for season-ending surgery, it'd be a welcomed development.
The Rangers' problems in 2014 were too many to list here, but their lack of offensive punch due to injuries was a big one, and one of the big ones was Moreland's ankle injury that eventually needed season-ending reconstructive surgery.
Moreland ended up playing in just 52 games, the fewest since 2010 when he was a late call-up and made a big impression on the Rangers with a nice postseason. His final numbers: .246 batting average, .297 on-base percentage and just two home runs as his bum ankle hindered his power even before he shut it down.
Back in 2013, Moreland finally broke through in the power department and provided some nice punch in the bottom third of the Rangers' lineup with 23 homers and 60 RBIs — plenty good for a guy that was in Moreland's realm of expectation.
The thing is, Moreland has really, really good power. He just needs to be healthy. He'll likely serve primarily as the Rangers' designated hitter, assuming Prince Fielder is healthy, while he'll also likely see some time in left field. If the Rangers can get 20 home runs from Moreland again, it'd be a big boost for a lineup that was one of the most power-starved ones in the league last year.