Zunino narrowed his swing, incorporated a leg kick and changed the direction of his swing to focus more on hitting to the middle of the field.
He was recalled from Tacoma on May 22 and had a June to remember. Zunino hit .304 with 10 home runs and a major-league leading 31 RBIs that month. He hit .281 after the All-Star break.
Manager Scott Servais said Zunino is taking more of a leadership role after a successful season.
If the Badgers do make a playoff game, then their loyal fan base — one that propels Wisconsin to 15th in attendance and 11th in revenue, not to mention one that can take over the Rose Bowl — will descend like locusts. And if they win a title, the host city’s alcohol reserves will be tested.
The Badgers’ demerits are that their fans are not exactly jealous of the success of nearby rivals like Minnesota and the fact that UW’s enjoyed plenty of great seasons but with only a handful of true near-misses. (However, Minnesota fans can claim a bunch of old titles that everyone’s mostly forgotten, much like a couple of the Eagles’ NFC East rivals.)
In 2016, Martin signed a five-year deal worth $35.75 million, including $15 million guaranteed. But the NFL suspended him for four games that season for violating the policy on performance-enhancing substances, and he entered a drug rehabilitation program. Because he engaged in conduct detrimental to the team, the Bucs were no longer on the hook for any guaranteed money, facilitating his release.
The move was hardly a surprise. When asked by ESPN about Martin’s struggles in 2017 and whether he had a future with the team, general manager Jason Licht said, Without going into much detail, it’s safe to say that we need more out of our running game in general. We need to get better run-blocking, we need more explosive plays out of the running back position. I was really happy [and] we were really happy with Peyton with the way he came on at the end of the season, so that was positive. Obviously Doug had a down season by his standards and by our standards.
The Bucs averaged 90.6 rushing yards per game in 2017, 27th in the league.