Your annual "all hope is lost in the AL East" story

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It’s from Ken Rosenthal this year, who thinks that the rest of the AL East should “just give up.”  It’s less an argument than a rundown of the the deals the Red Sox and Yankees have made so far this offseason, and which Rosenthal thinks aren’t over yet (“I guarantee you, their outfield next season will not be
Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner”).

Look, I know it sucks really, really bad to be a fan of an AL East team that isn’t New York or Boston, but multiple people write this same article every year, and it’s a lazy exercise.

Lazy because it it ignores the fact that the Rays are a really, really good team from top to bottom. A team that, while they definitely underperformed last year, was in striking distance for a large part of the season.  A team whose fans certainly aren’t giving up.

Lazy because it assumes that Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada are going to be effective forever. That Kevin Youkilis won’t take a little step back. That CC Sabathia or Jon Lester or anyone else won’t blow out his elbow.  I’m not suggesting that the Jays, Orioles and Rays need to pin their hopes on some disaster to win anything, but why is it so hard to analyze what actually happens in a given year as opposed to just assuming that what happened last year will happen next year?

The financial structure of the game is what it is, and for many fans, it’s depressing.  But if it’s so depressing that you “just give up” on following the games and rooting for your team, you may as not watch any baseball at all.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.