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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.

So, Small Sample Size Theatre at play- or a sign that the Giants curse those who play on them?

 

QLE Posted: May 21, 2019 at 04:41 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, hunter pence, rangers

Monday, March 11, 2019

The long, rewarding road back for Yankees’ Troy Tulowitzki

TAMPA, Fla.—A slow-played Sunday morning found half the New York Yankees boarding a bus bound for Lakeland, many with a paper coffee cup in one hand, a paper plate of eggs in the other, a bat bag slung over one shoulder. The rest stayed behind to play the Pittsburgh Pirates.

An hour’s an hour, and the disappearance of just the one served to heighten gravity’s devilish pull on another day like the one before and the one before that.

Reggie Jackson, he’s 72 now, padded into the clubhouse, nodded good morning and, on the fly, paged through a print edition of the New York Post. Ron Guidry, 68, unhurriedly chased wisps of steam from his black coffee. Willie Randolph, 64, stopped, said his oldest grandchild is 10 now and that he lives near enough to them all to see them grow, then smiled at wherever the years go.

A spring training slice-of-life, and a reminder that this is the season where hope springs forever eternal.

QLE Posted: March 11, 2019 at 09:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, spring training, troy tulowitzki, yankees

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Royals looking to build on strong finish to 2018

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals lost 104 games in 2018 despite finishing the season 20-14. They hope they can begin this season like they ended the last one, and not the way they’ve started in recent years.

“These guys made a lot of progress from the middle of August all through September,” Royals manager Ned Yost said Monday before the club’s first full-squad workout. “They played really, really good and exciting baseball.

“Does that mean we’re automatically going to come in here and pick up where we left off? No. We’re going to have to pick up where we left off. We’re going to have to work hard to continue that type of improvement. I’m real excited about it.”

For those of you who have ever wondered what “damning with faint praise” means….

QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:45 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, it's not where you start, it's where you finish, ned yost, royals

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Farquhar wears protective cap for 1st bullpen session

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Danny Farquhar wore a specially designed protective cap Friday during his first spring training bullpen session with the New York Yankees.

Farquhar collapsed in the Chicago White Sox dugout last April 20 after pitching in the sixth inning against Houston. He was diagnosed with a ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage, had surgery the next day and was hospitalized until May 7. Farquhar was not cleared to pitch again in 2018, became a free agent after the season and signed a minor league contract with the Yankees.

“I am extraordinarily just thankful,” Farquhar said.

QLE Posted: February 16, 2019 at 06:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, danny farquhar

Friday, February 15, 2019

Carson Fulmer turned to one of baseball’s top data-driven companies to reclaim his career

SEATTLE — The end of the baseball season provides a welcome rest for most players. After a grueling 162-game season, players generally take some time away from the game. It’s their time to decompress, re-evaluate their season, get married, go on vacation or spend time with family.

There was no break for Chicago White Sox pitcher Carson Fulmer this offseason. While his major-league club was still playing games in September, Fulmer went to his offseason home in Seattle, and committed to training as often as possible during the winter. The 25-year-old was not going to let rain, illness or the holidays be an excuse, because he understands there’s a lot at stake in 2019.

After being selected as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball draft, Fulmer has struggled to establish himself as a major-league asset. He’s had opportunities each year since he was drafted, but the numbers haven’t been there. In 67 1/3 innings in the majors, Fulmer has a career 6.68 ERA.

Well, this is a relationship between players and data that we usually don’t discuss.

 

QLE Posted: February 15, 2019 at 06:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carson fulmer, comeback, data-driven decisions

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Twelve years later, Matt Harvey is an Angel trying to earn his way back

TEMPE, Ariz. — There is a place where he may be proud and regretful, where today is just going to have to be better than yesterday and so is just going to have to be good enough, where that guy he knew from way back when remains a work in progress, where that pitcher from the same time remains possible.

Where, in a way, he can be 18 again.

“I wish,” said Matt Harvey, for the first time wearing the colors of the team that drafted him 12 years ago. He smiled.

 

 

QLE Posted: February 14, 2019 at 05:15 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, comeback, matt harvey

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

James Loney signs to be a two-way player for an independent league team

When last we heard from James Loney he was being released by the Atlanta Braves in May of 2017. That release came, like, five days after they signed him to maybe cover for the then-injured Freddie Freeman. He became expendable when the Braves brain trust decided that Matt Adams would be better at that. He probably was.

Finally, some action on the free agent market!

QLE Posted: February 06, 2019 at 04:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, independent leagues, james loney, two-way players

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Frankie’s back: Pirates give Liriano minor league contract

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Francisco Liriano is back with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 35-year-old left-hander agreed to a minor league contract with the team on Monday that includes an invitation to big league camp.

He pitched for Pittsburgh from 2013-16, going 41-36 with a 3.67 ERA and 659 strikeouts in 107 starts. He earned the victory in Pittsburgh’s win over Cincinnati in the 2013 NL wild card game, allowing one run over seven innings.

The Comeback Kid comes back one more time.

QLE Posted: February 05, 2019 at 04:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, francisco liriano, pirates

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Former White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar dreaming of making big league return and pitching on South Side

Unthinkable. Unimaginable.

Ask anyone nine months ago if Danny Farquhar would not only be back on a pitcher’s mound today, but would sign a minor league deal this season with the New York Yankees, that’s likely how they would have responded.

It’s a comeback story straight out of Hollywood. Farquhar’s life continues to write a script we haven’t seen before.

Here’s hoping that he accomplishes this dream.

QLE Posted: January 31, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, danny farquhar, yankees

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Danny Farquhar reportedly signs minor league deal with Yankees

Best wishes for him in his comeback attempt.

QLE Posted: January 22, 2019 at 07:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, danny farquhar, yankees

 

 

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