Ned Colletti: players use disabled list as “a couple weeks’ vacation”

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Ned Colletti was on KABC radio in Los Angeles yesterday, and seemed to question the legitimacy of some Dodgers’ players recent trips to the disabled list:

“Sometimes you wonder what the thought process is too. The disabled list used to be some place a player never wanted to go. And now it might be a safe haven, it might be a couple of weeks’ vacation. You just hope everybody is doing everything they can to get back and play.”

He walked the comments back in the Los Angeles times, saying that, however those words came out, it wasn’t his intent to call anyone out.

I suppose tone mattered here: Colletti said the comment was made in jest, and if there was in fact some comic exasperation at the Dodgers’ injury woes here, it’s a pretty nothing comment. If he was a bit more serious, maybe it’s one of those Kinsley gaffes where a public figure actually — accidentally! — revealed what he was thinking instead of providing the politically or corporately-approved line. Which we simply cannot have.

Of course, Colletti isn’t the first person to suggest that players need and/or use the disabled list for simple rest. You’ll recall that Jayson Stark spoke to an anonymous general manager a few weeks ago who suggested that “players just couldn’t handle” the 162-game season and used the disabled list as a means of escape.

So: is Ned Colletti the anonymous GM, or is he simply saying here what a lot of people inside baseball think about the disabled list?

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.