Rick Peterson still has one season remaining on his contract as the Brewers’ pitching coach, but new manager Ron Roenicke is undecided about keeping him on the coaching staff and has met with Peterson several times since taking over the job last week.
Roenicke told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com that the meetings “went well” but because the pitching coach position is “so important to a new manager … I really have to make sure I have the right person, whether it’s Rick, whether it’s somebody else.”
In other words, Peterson is now interviewing for his own job.
Peterson was hired last offseason after the Brewers allowed the second-most runs in the league in 2009, but the pitching staff experienced only modest improvements this season while ranking third-worst in the league.
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.