What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
I sure am glad that Mitch Moreland is back in the lineup. He is money when the postseason rolls around and he will only improve both offesively and defesively. He also needs to be playing against left-handed pitchers. Remember what he did to Jonathan Sanchez last year.
Also wanted to remind everybody that Moreland was the centerpiece that Tampa Bay wanted for Matt Garza last year. The Rays obviously have an excellent scouting department and that should show you how much value and potential Mitch has.
So, do you play Moreland against the lefty Price or do you sacrifice our defense with MY at first base? Also, would any of you have accepted the Garza for Moreland package? I sure wouldn't.
I go to bat for Moreland often. If Nappy gets most of the starts at 2, and Mikey DH's, then Mitchy should be the 3. His weakness is his defense, but it has improved. I don't see Mike as a liability at 1B. I could easily see Mitch hitting .290 and hitting 20 plus HR's next year.
I've looked at the MLB top ten ratings of 1st basemen. They vary in rank, but all the same guys. Freddie Freeman is #10 for the most part. Mitch could easily match his numbers, given the same AB's. Freeman's defense is better, but Mitch is improving. Patience, Talent, Ability, Maturation. Moreland will be a good player for years to come.
Moreland in Game 3
Also Josh is moving to LF and Gentry is in center.
As it should be.
Mitch was pushing .300 earlier this year. I don't know what happened, but he went cold for a while. Let's hope last night's knock was a harbinger of things to come from him. I have a feeling Price will not be easy to knock over.
Mitch Moreland plays first base like a converted outfielder and hits like a catcher. Now, I will give the guy credit, that was a big hit last night and he his not a disaster out there by any means. He also fits the budget, which is important. He's the kind of player you'd look to upgrade from if you can, but are also glad you have in the meantime.
16 HR's in limited time from a bottom of the line-up guy? And you want to upgrade? And at his salary? Thank God you are not the GM.
I don't know how much of the postgame from last night you guys watched, but Ian said something that might have shed a little light on why Mitch had been slumping for most of the second half.
In an interview with Napoli, Kins was asked how huge the homer from Mitch was, and Ian responded with the usual, "well it was huge to get Neffy another run", and then he said something to the effect of "for the last couple of months he's been fighting through a hand injury that has slowed him down a little, but he's finally feeling better."
Perhaps there was a little more than just a slump going on with Mitch. Either way, if he's completely healthy, he is just about as dangerous a bottom of the order guy can be, and he plays solid 1st base. Plus he gives you other options if something were to happen to an outfielder or two, or Napoli has to catch, or whatever. I don't know if you guys remember, but he barely missed one to center field earlier in the game by the way...
Ricky, relax a little. I don't get what I said that deserved that in reply. I don't have a problem with you, don't start one with me. We are all just Ranger fans having a discussion. It's all good.
You obviously like Moreland. I do too. But, nothing in Mitch's history - he was not a top prospect and he hasn't at any point raked in the majors either - suggests he will ever be a league average hitting first baseman. You think he will, but haven't said what your basis is for thinking so ("I can easily see Mitch..."). I have yet to see one scout who publicly shares your confidence.
The statistical evidence isn't feeling it either. His plate appearances went way up this year, from 172 to 512. What is that larger sample telling us? Well, its not good news. His OBP dropped from .364 to 320. His homer rate dropped from about 1 homer in every 19 plate appearance last year to 1 HR in every 32 this year. His OPS+ (OPS+ is ballpark adjusted at scaled to 100, with 100 being league average) dropped from 116 to 92. You can say, 'well he's young - he'll get better', but its hard to get around the fact that the trends are all pointing in the opposite direction.
PECOTA pegs him as a 1 - 2 WAR player over the next few years, in other words, a second division starter. You can get by with a couple of guys like him playing regularly and still win 90+ games, but that's it, a couple of them. You just have to be careful thinking like that. You carry a co uple of guys like that cause you like them and you have to because of your buget, but then you suffer a couple of injuries in other places, and bang! -- All of a sudden you are the LA Angles winning 80ish games and your GM is quitting in disgrace (bwaahahahahaha, by the way).
Anyway, I like Mitch Moreland. I just don't share your feeling that he is a star or a star in the making, or any such thing. He is a valuable role-player and there ain't no shame in that. You need guys like him. If Boston had the starting pitcher equivalent of Mitch, they'd have clinched the same weekend the Rangers did. He won't be arbitration eligible next year either, so keeping him will be an attractive option. It's just not the same no-brainier level of attractiveness that pre-arb Elvis has been, for instance.
Easy there BS - I never said he was a star. You make more than valid points. My point is Mitch will be a nice player. More bang for the buck, if you will. He is no MVP or Pujols, but I will take him and his production for what he costs. Nothing more. I think we actually agree, brother. I just do not see him as an immediate weakness for our team. You get me?
When you factor in his low salary, Mitch is VERY VALUABLE. A roster HAS TO have young guys making minimums to have the $ left over to get the Beltres of the world signed. On a per $ basis, we're getting excellent production from him. And I doubt we've seen his ceiling. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that we we see around 30 homers, with a high obp and league average defense. Plus he can play OF in a pinch.
Rickey, I get you. I just don't like the tone in your first reply. You jumped all over me over what turned out to be agreement. But enough about that. Moving on.
I'd rather go with a maximum righty lineup against Price and any other lefties. Moreland and Murphy just don't hit lefties well. If Moreland was a big defensive upgrade at first over Young, I'd feel different, but there it is....
I think that saying that Moreland was the centerpiece that Tampa wanted for Matt Garza during the off season is a bit of a stretch. I know that the TB FO was demanding that he be included with the package the Rangers were offering but I wouldn't say he was the centerpiece, at least not from my interpretation of what was leaked. If it was a straight up trade of Garza for Moreland then yes, I would have made that trade and I'm pretty sure the Rangers' FO would have also. Of course, I sincerely hope that his slump was due to a hand injury which has now healed and he starts to hit the way he was hitting at the beginning of the season. I also hope that he does exceed all the scout's expectations and becomes a better than average first baseman.
@Tex, agree totally. The only thing I'd add is that though none of it is out of the realm of possibility, none of that is especially likely either. On the other hand, it is certain that he won't stay pre-arb eligible (i.e. cheap) forever. In a couple of years a guy like him has to get paid and becomes either a reserve for a big budget team or a sub-optimal stater for somebody looking to plug a hole.
If any one of the upside numbers you give will become real, I'd put my money on the power. The length of some of the homers he hit this year suggests their is some monster power in hidden in there somewhere. I just don't see any reason to believe in the OBP or the defense though.
BS - That was hardly "jumping all over you". Maybe a cheap shot at the end, and I apologize. Most 1st baseman are LH hitters. Most do not hit LHP well. I don't care, depending on the match-up, if Wash uses Mike or Nappy there. My only point was just made by Tex. He is dead on. As are you. We all agree. Sorry if that came across wrong. I just think that bang for the buck, Moreland is a guy I like. Frankly, I'd prefer Davis. But I like Mitch.
He's under team control for a bit. When it comes time, how much would you pay? You can offer arb when it comes time, and if he declines we likely don't get much of a compensatory pick in return. He has a stocked farm beneath him. Chad Tracy can hit, but defense is his problem too. But there are studs coming. Mitch will probably get a Murphy type deal. For his production? Cheap.
the badspeller said all that needs to be said about Moreland. 1st base is right there with Starting pitching on where the Rangers can be improved the most. Can you imagine a Fielder in this lineup instead of a Moreland? I am just saying. Its not to say anything resembling that we will be in the mix for Fielder but its to illustrate how Moreland is BY FAR our weakest piece. Which also says a lot about how good the Rangers are.
If your weakness hits 16 HR's and over 50 RBI in a part-time role? I'll take it. He is by far the better defensive 1st baseman we have at a little over $400K. You want to pay $20M plus for Fielder? Have at it. Not smart baseball management. You guys can drum up your fantasy team on someone else's dime, but get real.
Regarding the lineup vs Price, one problem with the "sit Mitch and Murph against lefties, play both Yorvit and Napoli" idea is that Yorvit for his career is a righty with a reverse split. He actually hit for a .612 OPS against lefties this year, and .745 against righties. And those numbers mirror his career results. Of course, Mitch and Murph were actually worse against lefties (though Mitch not by a lot). The guy who actually hit lefties much better than all 3 this year was Endy Chavez. It might even make some sense, against a tough lefty, to play Napoli at C, Young at 1B, Cruz at DH, with a Hamilton/Gentry/Chavez OF.
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