Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said on The Ben & Skin Show that the Rangers' lineup had “a chance to be silly” if three-time National League All-Star Prince Fielder had signed here rather than with Detroit. If he did sign, lost in the silliness would have been incumbent Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland. Fielder-fest has concluded, but it affected Moreland.
“I think it was more of a motivation thing for me, you know. He’s a good player and all, but you know, I want to go out and prove that they didn’t need him,” Moreland said of the two-time Silver Slugger. “I’m looking forward to this year and getting started.”
Getting started? How about that right wrist? It began to bother him in the middle of June last season. The wrist was surgically repaired at the end of November and required 8-12 weeks of rehab, putting a healthy start to spring training in doubt.
“It's feeling great. I've been hitting. No problems there. Working out. Not very many limitations I guess you could say. Therapy is going good. The range of motion is there,” Moreland shared on a recent edition of Rangers Magazine (Saturday at 10 a.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM).
Moreland says he is ahead of schedule. He started the calendar year removing the splint, and he began hitting in the middle of January. Many wonder what sort of production Moreland will have in 2012.
Last season, Moreland posted a .259 batting average with 16 home runs and 51 RBI. He hit just .230 in July, .261 in August and .167 in September.
“It was real tough for me, especially mentally,” Moreland said thinking about the second half of last season and his ailing right wrist. “When you have something like that bothering you, you’re not capable of doing what you’re capable of.
“I tried to fight through it the rest of the year because we had some other guys go down and really didn’t have a whole lot of guys available at that time,” Moreland recalled. “I knew I wanted to be there for my team and try to help the team win. There were days I wouldn’t even take batting practice. I couldn’t even hold a bat hardly before I’d stepped into box. The ultimate goal was to win ballgames and get to the World Series and try to win that. We put ourselves in that situation. It was a lot easier because of that reason.”
While Moreland’s batting average and power numbers were not up to his standards, he did cite the ability to help in other ways that don’t go unnoticed by his teammates, such as moving runners over and contributing defensively. He also exudes the makeup side that JD and his baseball operations staff talk about with their current players and prospects.
“We’ve got the ability and more than enough personnel to go to the World Series and win it. Whatever my numbers have to be to get us there, then that’s my goal. Whatever we have to do to get there and win it,” Moreland said.
Listen to the podcast of Moreland on Rangers Magazine. He discusses his wrist in great detail, the impact of Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, and Scott Coolbaugh as well as his goals and the impact of the recent World Series.