"No chance" Flores plays before end of spring

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Jesus Flores headshot.jpgThat’s what Jesus Flores told Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider when asked if he’d be ready to appear in a game before the end of the spring.

Flores is currently rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery and has only progressed to playing catch from 120 feet. As the Grapefruit League schedule begins, he’s understandably deflated:

“It’s really frustrating,” he said. “I wish I could play. But I have to
make sure I’m 100 percent first. I don’t want to play half the season
and then get injured again.”

Flores, 24, got off to a tremendous start last season, .311/.382/.522 with four home runs and 15 RBI over his first 90 at-bats, but suffered a stress fracture in his right shoulder in May. He tried to give it a go in September, but only had three at-bats before undergoing season-ending surgery on his labrum and elbow.

With Flores sidelined indefinitely, now we’ll get to find out if the Ivan Rodriguez signing was the head-scratcher everyone thought it was this winter. Sounds like it might be a while.

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.