MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox’ Keith Moreland began his rehab assignment for the PawSox at McCoy Stadium Thursday night against Buffalo.

PAWTUCKET — If it’s not a broken toe, it’s a meniscus tear in his left knee.

If it’s not a lower back strain, then it’s a right quadricep strain that has kept Mitch Moreland out of the Red Sox lineup, preventing him from being a contributing member on and off the field with Boston.

“I know that I’m not going to feel great every day, but I’m going to try to get out there and play,” Moreland said within the confines of the clubhouse at McCoy Stadium Thursday where he began another 10-day stint on the Injured List.

One injury and setback after another has limited the slugging first baseman to 47 games and 151 at-bats with Boston this season. While his batting average (.225) is not very favorable, his power numbers (13 HRs, 34 RBI, .316 OBP, 543 slugging) are.

The 33-year-old Moreland is in the second year of a two-year $13-million free-agent contract that he signed after his first season with Boston in 2017.

Through the span of 10 MLB seasons, the former 17th-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers (in 2007) has hit 160 HRs — including the most memorable 437-foot homer hit against the Dodgers in the fourth game of the 2018 World Series.

At the start of this season, Moreland was pretty much Boston’s sole saving grace — he belted a pinch-hit three-run HR in the ninth inning to rally Boston from a 6-4 deficit to a win against Seattle; he stroked a game-tying, two-run eighth-inning double in Oakland to help deliver a 6-3 win; and he smashed a seventh-inning solo HR in a 1-0 win in Arizona.

“I’m getting there, that’s why I’m here,” Moreland said of getting back to a baseball routine, just the simple everyday life of being in the clubhouse.

“I need to get some swings in, get my feet under me and get my timing back,” said Moreland, who will be given ample time to fully recover by Boston, as Red Sox manager Alex Cora has indicated that there was no timetable for his return to Fenway Park.

Moreland was a disciple and student of Texas Ranger Adrian Beltre in his approach to the game, his stamina and longevity. “I know that I’m not going to feel great every day, but it’s a lot more fun playing the game that I love than sitting and watching.”

“Getting your swing back depends on how much time that you miss,” Moreland said, having been out since the first week of June. He batted .250 in 18 games during the month of May.

“We’ll kind of go day-to-day (serving as DH or playing first base) and see where I’m at. I’m hoping to get back as quickly as possible. It’s difficult being away from the team, not going on road trips. Going into Fenway every day for rehab, then watching the games at night on TV, that’s tough to do.

“You want to be there with the guys, you want to be part of it.

“If I can get my timing back and I feel pretty good, being in the infield and moving around, then I can see how it goes. I don’t need motivation, it’s there. It’s just the part of being there, seeing the way that the game goes.

“I’ve done a lot of work at Fenway, trying to get back, but we’ll see,” Moreland added. “It’s a bit difficult being patient — you want to see some pitches, see some movement. I’m going to give you everything I’ve got when I get out there.”

FOUL BALLS — Moreland went 0-for-4 with a K in the PawSox’ 5-4 loss to Buffalo … PawSox starting pitcher Ryan Weber no-hit Buffalo through six innings (two walks on 73 pitches; inducing double plays in the second and sixth innings to erase the runners). Weber was involved in his eighth no-decision as Travis Lakins (single, hit batter, walk) and Trevor Kelley (three-run HR) imploded in relief in the eighth inning … PawSox SS Chris Owings was in on both DPs and totaled eight assists overall … Rusney Castillo (No. 9) and Sam Travis (No. 6) launched back-to-back HRs in the fourth inning … The PawSox’ representative at the AAA All-Star game in Texas Wednesday, LH reliever Dan Runzler did not fare well, facing three batters, allowing two hits and one earned run during a four-run second inning by the PCL All Stars en route to a 9-3 win … Tyler Thornburg, the recently-released reliever by Boston, appeared in 11 games with the PawSox, allowing 15 hits and nine walks over 10 2/3 innings … Castillo, who hit .323 in June, is having a horrible July, hitting just .150 (6-for-40) over the last 10 games … Friday is Jackie Bradley Bobblehead Night, with the first 3,000 fans receiving the keepsake … PawSox manager Billy McMillon conducted a “hitters-only” meeting, as the club ranks next to last in the IL with a .253 batting average and RBI (382) and the fifth-fewest HR’s (96) … “It was nice to go home (Tennessee) and be with the family,” PawSox slugger (15 HR, 43 RBI) Bryce Brentz said of the All-Star break … Buffalo RHP Edwin Jackson has pitched for 14 MLB teams over 17 seasons, in addition to 13 minor league teams … Several hundred fans were on hand in Worcester for the ceremonial first shovel for Polar Park, the 2021 home for the PawSox.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.