Matthew Pouliot wrote last week that Detroit’s primary focus heading into the trade deadline should be rotation help, so not surprisingly Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Tigers are interested in Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Guthrie has a hideous 3-13 record, but his 4.45 ERA and 80/36 K/BB ratio in 123 innings are pretty close to his career norms and he’s typically been a solid mid-rotation starter.
He’s also 32 years old and earning $5.75 million, so while Guthrie has been the Orioles’ Opening Day starter in three of the past four seasons and is under team control via arbitration in 2012 it would certainly make sense to shop him for long-term help.
Morosi says the Orioles “will want pitching in return” if they deal Guthrie, but ultimately the market for him will be determined largely by whether superior starters like Ubaldo Jimenez and Hiroki Kuroda are also being shopped. Guthrie isn’t going to be any contender’s No. 1 target, but if the price is right he’s a reasonable fallback option.
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.