Howie Kendrick (R), 17 percent, Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants (LHP Ty Blach): Kendrick smacked lefties to the tune of a .322/.390/.511 line last year. He’s batted fifth or higher in the bulk of his games so far this season and his 35 percent hard contact rate is the second-highest of his career. Blach loves allowing contact with a meager 11 percent strikeout rate for his career and has always had a sharp platoon split favoring righty hitters with a .290/.340/.471 line.
Aaron Sanchez (R), 66.6 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox: He’s logged three straight quality starts, but made them eventful with seven walks and just six strikeouts across the past two. If he continues nibbling, Boston’s unforgiving lineup will punish him.
Of course, an arm injury in the second week of the season handed the job to Roethlisberger and he never gave it back, so it wasn’t as if Maddox had a long time to show him how it was done. But he thinks once they get to camp, the two will be fine.
“I think Ben will treat him with respect,” Maddox told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “His No. 1 goal is to get ready to play and help the team be successful.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say he owes it. That kind of gets into a little bit of a slippery slope. His job is to win football games right now. But, with that said, I think everybody in the locker room, the more it gets along, the better this team is going to be.”
Maddox, now coaching high school baseball in Texas, said it’s not a one-to-one comparison because Roethlisberger’s a better player than he was at the same stage.
“Everybody’s going to handle things differently. I’m not going to sit here and say I think Ben owes it to him to [mentor],” Maddox said. “I think all of us, when you’re playing, you owe it to your teammates to be respectful and do what’s best for the team and all that.