Rangers first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter Mitch Moreland took the mound in a blowout loss to the Rockies last night and looked about as good as a position player can look as a pitcher.
Moreland was clocked as high as 95 miles per hour, regularly worked at 92-94 miles per hour, and tossed a 1-2-3 inning with a pair of fly outs to right field and a broken-bat ground ball.
Here’s the video from MLB.com:
Moreland was actually a very good pitcher in college at Mississippi State and made a couple pitching appearances in the minors. Based on how good he looked the Rangers might want to make letting him mop up a semi-regular thing just to save some wear and tear on the pitching staff.
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.