No one expected a team coming off an 119 win season and World Series title to struggle out of the gate like the Boston Red Sox have. Then again, no Sox fans should be shook by mid April struggles with so much baseball in front of them.
One of the lone bright spots for the 2019 season has been veteran first baseman Mitch Moreland in his third season with Boston. Affectionately called “Mitchy two bags”, Moreland has proven he’s a threat at the plate. His forte lies in the field however, having won a gold glove in 2016 with the Texas Rangers.
Moreland has been the highlight of the Sox bats 13 games into this young season. He leads the team in runs batted in (12), homeruns (5), and has one of the highest batting averages among those in the start rotation at .275.
Moreland’s gritty playing style and personality matches the Boston organization. His shine this season is even more admirable considering the circumstances surrounding Moreland and his Red Sox during their magical playoff run last year.
Mid season pick up during the 2018 season, fellow first baseman Steve Pearce, who had previously bounced around on every other team in the Sox division, erupted in the postseason. Pearce’s red hot offensive barrage led him to World Series MVP honors. The former journeyman around the league was the last player anyone expected to perform at such an extraordinary level.
During this time, Moreland, who was named as an all star reserve last year instinctively had no interest in taking a backseat to the likes of Steve Pearce. But, in a bench role for most of the postseason, Moreland still showed he’s a crucial piece to their championship roster. Pinch hitting and coming through in big spots multiple times, his presence was still felt.
The brunt of the sox issues is in the pitching staff more so than the offensive lineup. Even Sox ace, and one of the best pitchers in baseball in Chris Sale, is off to a rocky 0-3 start giving up 13 earned runs in as many innings pitched.
But with all of the dangerous bats the Sox have, including Moreland, combined with the belief that the Boston starters will find their stride like they did last year in time, there’s no need for concern yet for Red Sox nation.