Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is on absolute tear at the plate.
He slugged a three-run homer in Saturday night’s 6-0 rout of the Yankees and now has seven home runs and 13 RBI in his past eight games. The 29-year-old is batting .345 with an .836 slugging percentage in the month of May.
Gonzalez has also started every game thus far on the Red Sox’ schedule. Only Jacoby Ellsbury can also claim that feat.
“A-Gone” hit a rough patch or two in his debut month with Boston — his OPS sat at .746 on April 15 — but those struggles are well behind him and there’s no reason to think that he can’t keep the good times rolling all season. He’s currently sporting a .961 OPS, nine longballs and 34 runs batted in through 39 games played.
According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, only five players in franchise history have roared out to such a fine offensive start. Manny Ramirez had 13 homers and 46 RBI through 38 games in 2001, Jimmie Foxx had 11 homers and 35 RBI through 38 games in 1936, Ted Williams had 8 homers and 38 RBI as a rookie in 1939, Walt Dropo had 10 homers and 34 RBI as a rookie in 1949, and Carl Everett smashed 13 homers and 38 RBI through his first 38 games in 2000. Decent company, eh?
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.