Mitch Moreland‘s return from the disabled list didn’t last long. The first baseman made his long-awaited return to the lineup on Friday but couldn’t make it through his first game back. According to MassLive’s Christopher Smith, the lefty suffered left quad tightness and had to be removed from the contest. As of this posting, the severity of the injury is unknown.
Mitch Moreland Suffers Injury
Moreland’s injury leaves the Red Sox shorthanded at first base. Steve Pearce is currently on the disabled list with a strained back. Interestingly, Moreland also had a strained back before returning to the field. While it’s encouraging that he didn’t re-aggravate his injury, it’s obviously not great that he’s injured something else.
Michael Chavis came in to relieve the longtime MLB veteran. With Pearce and Moreland both on the disabled list, this leaves Chavis and Sam Travis as the only first basemen on the roster. Chavis has struggled in recent weeks, as the top-100 prospect owns a .158/.238/.211 slash line with an 11 wRC+ over his last 42 plate appearances. Travis, meanwhile, owns a career .242/.293/.339 slash line in the major leagues.
If the Red Sox want to promote from within, the most likely candidate is Pawtucket Red Sox power-hitting first baseman Josh Ockimey. Ockimey struggles defensively and can only hit righties, but the lefty is posting a .207/.367/.509 slash line with a 121 wRC+. Ockimey currently isn’t on the 40-man roster, so the Red Sox would have to find a way to open up the spot. Putting Moreland on the disabled list would only open up a spot on the major league roster, so the Red Sox will have to either designate somebody for assignment or place somebody on the 60-day injured list.
Bobby Dalbec is the bigger name, but the third baseman isn’t quite ready for the major leagues. Dalbec still has a significant strikeout problem and never played above the AA level. Chances are, the Sox will continue on with Chavis and Travis until Pearce and/or Mitch Moreland get healthy.