Mitch Moreland underwent wrist surgery in November that was expected to sideline him for 8-12 weeks, but yesterday the Rangers first baseman told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com that he’s “feeling great” and has been taking swings four times per week with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh.
Moreland might be slightly behind everyone else at the beginning of spring training, but seems optimistic that getting the “impact fracture” in his wrist fixed will help him bounce back after struggling with the injury for much of the second half last season.
Moreland hit just .241 with five homers and a .666 OPS in 53 games after the All-Star break, including .167 in September, and was often benched during the Rangers’ playoff run. Overall his OPS dropped 100 points compared to his rookie season, so if Moreland wants to keep his status as Texas’ first baseman of the present and future he definitely needs to get back on track and join the rest of the lineup in putting up big numbers.
ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.
A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.
Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.
Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.
The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.
The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.
The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.