Red Sox 1st baseman Mitch Moreland has been heating up as of late, Sox fans can only hope that this streak continues
When the Red Sox acquired Mitch Moreland during the off season for a single year and only $5 million dollars, they knew they were getting him cheap. He had something to prove after hitting 22 home runs but batting a meager .233 last season. He’s since turned it around hitting .270 with 11 home runs so far.
He’s been doing his job after faltering earlier this season and with Hanley Ramirez not 100% it looks like Moreland will likely keep his 1st base job. Most of his home runs this season have been absolute shots. Let’s also not forget that several of his deep fly balls have missed being home runs by mere feet. The guy has power and talent and it’s finally coming through once again towards the end of June.
While Mitchy-Two-Bags hasn’t hit any doubles in a few games, 12 games, but who’s counting, he’s still hit home runs in back to back games and has five long balls in the month of June so far and it marks the first two since June 13th. Before this month, Moreland only had six home runs. Power numbers are good especially when the rest of the team can’t seem to consistently do damage.
The Sox are sitting in 1st place but they should be doing a lot better. The Yankees got lucky with a couple of their games and having one player put his team on his back hasn’t made it any easier for the Sox to gain ground in the American League East. What’s changed? Well aside from the Sox and Yanks each losing their last two games, the Sox are going through a bit of a rotational issue with a constant starter injured.
How does that affect the rest of the team? It’s adding more pressure on certain players to perform better. Since the pitchers aren’t keeping the runs to a minimum, the batters need to compensate. Insert Chris Sale and the Sox bullpen for the last 20+ games. When Sale pitches, the Sox don’t need to stress because he’s automatic.
How does Moreland fit into this picture? When the Sox got Moreland they were doing it with the impression that Han Ram and Pablo Sandoval were going to be manning the corner infield positions. With Panda just about done and Hanley not wanting to do anything but play DH, Moreland has 1st base all but locked up. Does this relieve some of the pressure?
Certainly does. Moreland isn’t going to be playing 3rd base. The Panda project is now over, so Moreland can expect to play more and hopefully hit more with the relieved pressure. The only number slowly rising is the strike out percentage. Doubt it’s anything to really worry about.
Sox fans can look forward to seeing Mitchy keep on rolling. Maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll get a two-double game again. It’s been a while. Either way, we’ll like either streak to continue, either the home run trend or doubles works for us.
Photo Credit – Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports