Tim Wakefield gets the start tonight for the Red Sox. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reminds us that if he pitches 3.1 innings, his base salary for 2011 goes from $1.5 million to $2 million. Not that he wouldn’t get it eventually — it doesn’t have to come tonight — but I always like watching benchmarks like that being passed.
Of course, this is nowhere near as fun as watching the Magglio Ordonez thing last year or the year before or whenever it was, in which a certain number of plate appearances gave him an approximately sixteen gajillion dollar contract extension. For that matter, it’s not as fun as the time Jimy Williams gave Steve Avery starts which allowed his option to vest despite the fact that he had absolutely nothing left. If that wasn’t either (a) a nice show of loyalty to kid Williams watched come up from the minors; or (b) an F-U to ownership, I don’t know what it was.
Yeah, I realize I need to get out more.
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.