Scott Olsen to miss next start with shoulder inflammation

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Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Scott Olsen will miss his next start due to inflammation in his left shoulder. He was forced to leave Friday’s start against the Orioles after just three innings.

According to the Associated Press, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said an MRI on the shoulder showed only inflammation, but no structural damage. Olsen underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last July, so there’s plenty of reason for concern here.

Riggleman said the Nationals can get by without a fifth starter until May 29, according to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com, so the left-hander will avoid the disabled list for now.

Olsen, 26, is 2-2 with a 3.77 ERA and 1.37 WHIP over his first eight starts this season, posting a 32/14 K/BB ratio over 43 innings.

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.