Braves head trainer Jeff Porter lost his wife, Kathy, Saturday when the family’s SUV collided with a Georgia State Patrol cruiser just north of Turner Field in Atlanta.
Jeff Porter was at the wheel when the unidentified state police officer collided with his SUV in an intersection. Reports indicate the officer was responding to a call for assistance in a high-speed chase nearby. The officer was treated for injuries and released from the hospital.
Jeff Porter, his 19-year-old son, David, and a family friend were also taken to the hospital and released.
The Braves released the following statement after the accident:
The Braves family is deeply saddened and shocked to learn about the tragic accident today involving the family of head athletic trainer Jeff Porter and the death of his wife, Kathy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jeff and Kathy’s family, their son, David, and all their friends and loved ones.
Jeff Porter has worked for the Braves since 1985 and served as the team’s head trainer since 2003.
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.