After going down for nearly three months following an inside-the-park, walk-off home run to beat the Colorado Rockies, he was forced to watch from the dugout as his team fell out of contention.
He said the experience opened his eyes to his role on the team and he’s used that as motivation to get off to a hot start in 2014. He is hitting .419 with eight RBIs in the first eight games of the season.
“I worked hard for this,” he said. “I think last year, when I got hurt, I didn’t know how important I was for this team until my teammates told me. That got me full of motivation this offseason and I just got so ready for this moment. This might be my best start of my career.”
Pagan said he has always tried to evolve as a hitter, and this spring he identified a new way to help the team score runs.
“I always felt that there was something missing in my approach,” he said. “I think this year I’ve been more patient and drawing some walks and not falling for the pitcher’s traps and letting him come to me.”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said avoiding the injury woes the team struggled through last season will be key in keeping up this hot start.
“Last year it was similar,” he said of the start to the season. “We swung the bats very well early, and the second half we had our struggles offensively. That’s what we want to stay away from the best way to stay away from it is to stay away from the injuries, and hopefully these guys just have the years that they normally have and if they do that we’ll be fine.”