There was a lot of excitement around "Mitchy Twobags" coming to Boston to do the thankless job of replacing David Ortiz in the lineup. Mitch Moreland came into town and had a typical Moreland season with a low 20s home-run total, but did enjoy the AL East enough to set a career-high mark in doubles with 34. 2016 saw him be somewhat serviceable against lefties, while 2017 proved that was more of a one-year blip (.684 OPS against southpaws last year). His season ended with knee troubles, but he passed a physical and re-signed on a two-year, $13 million deal with the Red Sox. He will be tasked once again with starting at first base against righties and the occassional lefty, so expect more of the same.
Moreland went 0-for-3 in Friday's game against the Marlins and has just two hits over 14 spring at-bats. Moreland hasn't gotten on the field much during the early phase of spring training as the Red Sox look to get Hanley Ramirez comfortable at first base. He and Ramirez are expected to platoon there after Boston signed J.D. Martinez to be its primary designated hitter. Moreland had a career-high 508 at-bats in 2017, when Ramirez's shoulder prevented him from playing the field for much of the season. The shoulder is not an issue at this point, so Moreland should see a reduced number of plate appearances unless Ramirez gets hurt or proves to be inadequate defensively.
Moreland, who signed a two-year, $13 million contract with the Red Sox on Monday, said he is good to go after undergoing a procedure to repair a small meniscus tear earlier in the offseason, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Moreland played through a broken toe that he suffered in June which eventually led to the knee issue, but he's expected to be fully healed in time to resume his normal offseason workout schedule. He figures to reprise his role as the team's starting first baseman after turning in a respectable .246/.326/.443 line with 34 doubles and 22 homers in his first year with Boston (149 games), though he could be relegated to a platoon with Hanley Ramirez (shoulder) if the Red Sox bring in another impact bat.
Moreland (knee) signed a two-year, $13 million contract with the Red Sox on Monday, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Moreland will return to Boston after turning in a serviceable .246/.326/.443 line with 34 doubles and 22 homers across 149 games last season. The 32-year-old is one of just two American League first basemen to knock 20 doubles and 20 homers in each of the past three seasons, with Jose Abreu being the other. He struggled to hit for power against same-handed pitching (.684 OPS), so it's possible he finds himself on the stronger side of a platoon next season. Either way, he should be in line for another similar year of production, assuming the knee troubles he experienced at the end of last season are behind him.
Moreland will have his knee examined Tuesday to see if surgery is needed, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Moreland said the broken toe he sustained back in June led to a knee problem towards the end of the season, and while he was able to play through the pain, he'll have it checked out now that the Red Sox have been eliminated from the playoffs. There should be a clearer idea regarding his status following Tuesday's evaluation.
Moreland is out of the lineup for Game 2 of the ALDS against Houston on Friday, Tim Britton of The Providence Journal reports. Moreland will occupy a seat on the bench with left-hander Dallas Keuchel taking the mound for the Astros. In his place, Hanley Ramirez draws the start at first while Chris Young will make an appearance in the DH spot.
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