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Pirela Shining In New Role

Pirela feels better at the plate this year

Jose Pirela's attempt for a successful season looked dubious on April 11. On that early-spring day, Pirela, as a member of the Double-A Trenton Thunder, was struck in the head by a 95 mile per hour heater courtesy of Portland Sea Dogs right-hander Chris Martin. The 22-year-old went on to miss over six weeks while dealing with concussion-like symptoms that arose from the hit-by-pitch.

"It's hard because you never think that things like that are going to happen," Pirela said through the help of a translator. "I had to work so hard for my mind to be prepared again. I thank God for giving me the chance and opportunity after my concussion to do well." Since his return to Trenton on May 24, Pirela has made the most of that opportunity. As of Monday, he was hitting .380 (27-7...

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