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Alex Gordon’s unexpected turnaround, and the other coolest things from last night

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first_imgThe Royals will likely finish last in the AL Central this season, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have interesting components to their roster.Of course, they feature speedsters Billy Hamilton, Adalberto Mondesi and Terrance Gore, who bring excitement on the basepaths uncommon in the modern MLB game. But veteran left fielder Alex Gordon is also a notable story to track for Kansas City (7-16) given his recent resurrection.MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNGordon hit another home run Monday night, adding to his tremendous start to the campaign.The long ball was one of the five coolest moments around MLB during a busy evening. Here’s the full list:5. Out of the spotlight, Alex Gordon rediscovers his plate approachGordon’s career has never gone as expected.He initially flopped as the top third-base prospect meant to save a downtrodden Royals franchise. He built himself into an elite two-way outfielder and helped the team win a World Series in 2015. He received a hefty contract and failed to live up to it.This season, Gordon looks better than he has in a long time. He’s hitting .313 and still playing solid defense. On Monday in Tampa Bay, he launched his fifth home run of the year.Is he worth $20 million right now? No. But at least he’s back to being an above-average player.Count David Cone, the former star pitcher and current announcer, as one of the people extremely impressed with Gordon’s late-career turnaround.What a swing change. Looks like a different hitter— David Cone (@dcone36) April 23, 2019Should his form continue, the 35-year-old Gordon could be an interesting trade chip at the deadline for Kansas City, which is not supposed to contend in 2019.4. Dexter Fowler avenges defensive gaffeA rough season for the Cardinals’ outfield defense continued Sunday when Fowler deflected a fly ball over the fence for a home run. But he was able to quickly make up for that mistake Monday, drilling a two-run home run against the Brewers.Dexter Fowler just pushed a ball over the fence for a home run.The spirit of Jose Canseco lives on.pic.twitter.com/82C6g7Ptp6— Sporting News MLB (@SN Studio_mlb) April 21, 2019Sometimes, Dexter Fowler knocks opponents’ fly balls over the fence.But he can also do this.pic.twitter.com/nJshdgvpAp— Sporting News MLB (@SN Studio_mlb) April 23, 2019Fowler, ever the underrated contributor, has slowed his production in his 30s. Last year was the worst of his career — he posted a .180 batting average over 90 games, an unusual nosedive for a typically reliable hitter. Now that Marcell Ozuna and Paul Goldschmidt are in St. Louis, he doesn’t need to carry as much of the load, and if he can keep up his improved play this year he’ll be valuable to the Cardinals.His first home run of the season Monday set the tone in an eventual 13-5 win.3. Nolan Arenado is back to being Nolan ArenadoIt took Arenado 15 games to hit his first home run this season after leading the NL in that category last year. Since then, though, he’s hit four in seven contests and recorded three multi-hit games.With their third baseman back to normal and outfielder David Dahl back from a brief IL stint, perhaps the Rockies can make a run toward at least a .500 record by the end of the campaign.Arenado’s seventh-inning home run on Monday put Colorado ahead for good against the Nationals.Remember when people were worried about Nolan Arenado?He’s fine.pic.twitter.com/B4Ue0tDkKO— Sporting News MLB (@SN Studio_mlb) April 23, 20192. Paul Goldschmidt is very strong and very goodWith Bryce Harper and Manny Machado signing huge free agent contracts this past offseason, the Cardinals’ acquisition of Goldschmidt from Arizona may have slipped under the radar a bit. In the first few weeks of the campaign, the first baseman has already demonstrated the kind of league-changing impact he can have.This go-ahead home run against the Brewers was his ninth of the year. He’s added instant credibility to St. Louis’ offense, forming a strong tandem with Marcell Ozuna in the middle of the order. PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT.Forget about it.pic.twitter.com/eBEpK5lgyE— Sporting News MLB (@SN Studio_mlb) April 23, 2019While Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger have deservedly received loads of praise elsewhere in the NL, Goldschmidt’s steady production should keep the Cardinals in the playoff hunt all season. You just might not notice his elite level of play unless you remember to look.1. Chris Sale puts extra work in at Fenway concourseSale’s scheduled outing Monday was postponed due to rain, but that didn’t stop him from getting some throwing in at the ballpark. Might as well.What made that significant was his decision to play catch in Fenway’s concourse, where fans walked around him.The Red Sox were rained out today.Chris Sale decided to play catch in the Fenway concourse.pic.twitter.com/LHM4OrQT4U— Sporting News MLB (@SN Studio_mlb) April 22, 2019last_img read more

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