Angel Pagan is finally ready to return to the Giants

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After numerous delays in his recovery from a bulging disk in his lower back Giants center fielder Angel Pagan is finally ready to come off the disabled list and is expected to rejoin the lineup Thursday.

Pagan hasn’t played for the Giants since mid-June, but appeared in a pair of minor-league rehab games at Triple-A to prepare for his return.

He was having a strong season before being shut down, hitting a career-high .307 with three homers, 11 steals, and a .767 OPS in 63 games. San Francisco has used Gregor Blanco as the primary center fielder in his absence, but the 33-year-old Pagan figures to take back the position and resume leading off.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.