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Good morning baseball fans!
Hunter Pence is new and improved, adding the walk to his arsenal of tricks.
Thankfully, for the entertainment of everyone, Pence hasn't cut down on any of his movements at the plate, and he still looks like a hungry man chasing a taco. However he has gotten lower in the box and seems to be turning his back slightly more toward the pitcher. It's not by much, but if you focus on the number on his jersey, more of it is visible than in years past.
With his tweaked stance at the plate, and his new approach, Pence is putting together what could be his best season in years. He ranks 33rd in both wRC+ and wOBA and currently has his best ISO since his rookie season. Pence might have just turned 33, but he's showing no signs of slowing down just yet.
Tony Blengino of FanGraphs examined Kenta Maeda's first month as a pitcher in the majors.
We will see about Maeda’s durability. He pitched on a once-per-week schedule in Japan, and is still adjusting to the vagaries of the five-man rotation. Then of course there’s that iffy physical. I was bullish on the signing, especially when I saw the revised contract terms, and I’m even more bullish now. A healthy Maeda can be a well above-average major-league pitcher, and on other clubs with mere mortals fronting their rotations, could be a staff anchor, providing elite quality, albeit with more ordinary innings quantity.
A lot has gone wrong with the Dodgers thus far in 2016, but their premier free-agency prize appears to be a big winner. And that’s an especially big deal once you consider that upward of 80% of large free-agent deals in terms of years and/or dollars turn out to be uninspiring at best.
Here is a roundup of news from the American League West.
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Today in Baseball History:In 1984, the longest in AL history, for both time and innings played, ends in the 25th inning when Harold Baines hits a home run to lead the White Sox over the Brewers.