Orioles receive permission from Dodgers to interview De Jon Watson for GM vacancy

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Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have received permission from the Dodgers to interview assistant general manager De Jon Watson for their vacant general manager position.

Watson, 45, has worked with the Dodgers for the past five seasons, including the last four as the head of player development. He interviewed last year for the Diamondbacks’ GM post, a job which eventually went to Kevin Towers.

The Orioles have already interviewed Diamondbacks senior vice president Jerry Dipoto and Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava. Connolly writes that the O’s may talk to a few more people after Watson, though it’s believed they have yet to ask permission to interview any other candidates. Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine has been mentioned as a possibility, but the Orioles will likely need to wait until after the World Series in order to speak with him.

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.