FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mitch Moreland won't kid himself. He's older now and battled a series of nagging knee and back injuries the last few years, so the notion that he's still an everyday player at 34 is probably not a realistic one.
Still, Moreland isn't above performing some mental gymnastics as he slips past baseball's middle age bracket.
"It's kind of like you're tricking your mind a little bit,'' said Moreland. "I try to tell myself every day -- we play 162 games and I'm going to be ready to play 162 days. That's what I'm telling myself. Whether I'm coming in off the bench and getting two at-bats or playing the whole game, whatever they need me to do. That's always been my mindset and that's the way I'm going to keep it. I'm going to prepare every day. Maybe I'll mix in a recovery day every now and then, for sure.''
But Moreland can do the math and see the numbers. In each of his last two seasons with the Sox, the number of games he's played and the at-bats he's claimed have diminished. After playing in 149 games in 2017, he dipped to 124 in 2018 and then to 91 last year.