Red Sox: Mitch Moreland should fit right into the lineup
Mitch Moreland will provide value for the Boston Red Sox with his Gold Glove caliber defense, but his bat will fit right in with this lineup as well.
Coming into the offseason, Red Sox Nation drooled over Edwin Encarnacion becoming a free agent and potentially becoming the replacement for David Ortiz.
It didn’t work out the way people hoped it to be.
However, the Red Sox got a Gold Glove first basemen in Mitch Moreland for a much cheaper price than other free agents at the position were asking for.
Moreland is a left-handed hitter who is coming off of a year in which he had 23 home runs and 60 RBI’s, while playing a stellar first base to earn the first gold glove of his career. Moreland isn’t going to hit for average, as he is a career .254 hitter coming off a year where he hit a career low, .233. However, he can use Fenway’s famous Green Monster to his ability.
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Moreland struggles against left-handed pitchers, hitting a career .240 as opposed to .258 against right-handers. Expect Moreland to see most of his time against right-handers, while Hanley Ramirez may play first base when there’s a southpaw on the mound.
Moreland brings a defense-first type mentality as he is coming off a Gold Glove award and finished second at his position in the American League in defensive runs saved with seven. Moreland’s stellar defense can provide the Red Sox some depth at that position which will help the Red Sox big time, as we saw Ramirez get lazy at times last year and cost the Red Sox some games down the stretch.
However, Morleland’s offense could come alive this season. In a lineup stacked with hitters like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., Dustin Pedroia and Ramirez, it can take some of the pressure off Moreland to produce at the rate he was asked to in Texas.
The Red Sox have the ability to put Moreland in the seven hole and provide some pop at the bottom of the order and have him drive guys in that get on ahead of him.
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Moreland isn’t going to be the next David Ortiz in the lineup but he will provide just the right fit for a 1-year, $5.5 million deal in Boston’s already stacked line up. If Moreland can have the same year he did in Texas a year ago, I’m sure the Red Sox will take just that.