J.D. Drew is tougher than you think

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J.D. Drew.JPGJ.D. Drew catches a lot of heat for his injuries, with many fans thinking of him as some sort of fragile, pampered child. Not so, says Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal:

Drew had bone
spurs in his shoulder that would cause him pain when he swung, often
forcing him to cut short bating practice. The injury bothered him most
during the second half of the season, enough so that he took the last
four days of the regular season off to let it rest, and received a
cortisone shot to settle down any inflammation in the area. The pain
never cleared up, and so after the season Drew went under the knife . . . But this injury
may have been more serious than some realize. Team doctor Thomas Gill
told Drew that if he hadn’t done the surgery this offseason, his
shoulder wouldn’t have made it through 2010.

Despite this Drew still played in 137 games and was quite productive in doing so. And at any rate, I don’t recall him squawking about it.

Baseball is hard. Guys get hurt. Drew more than many guys, but I think his reputation as some sort of slacker is undeserved.

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.