Mitch Moreland making big strides this spring
Moreland entered spring training knowing the first-base job was his. He previously shared time on the corner, in part because of his struggles against left-handed pitching. He took extensive offseason batting practice against left-handers to work on that weakness, and it paid off during the spring.
Moreland excelled against both lefties and righties during the 2013 Cactus League season. He also hit the ball with power to all fields, ran the bases well and hit for average. His overall performance left an impression that Moreland is due for a breakout season in 2013.
"He's moving better, staying inside the ball and hitting to the opposite field, which is going to be key for him to stay consistent," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He worked hard during the winter to have good at-bats against lefties, and I think he has, so he'll see more lefties."
Moreland entered Wednesday's game ranked among the Cactus League leaders in several offensive categories.
In 21 games, Moreland leads the Rangers with four home runs and 13 RBIs. He owned an impressive .400 batting average and is seven for his past 14 with runners in scoring position.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.