Jon Heyman is still doing his best to find Johnny Damon a job, but it won’t be with the Yankees.
General manager Brian Cashman told George King of the New York Post that Damon contacted the Yankees looking for work and “I told him the truth … he is not the No. 1 option if and when I turn to DH options.”
Or as Damon put it: “We both are looking at other options now.”
Damon is no longer an impact hitter, but neither is the guy the Yankees are said to be pursuing, Raul Ibanez. In fact, last season Ibanez hit .245 with a .707 OPS in 144 games for the Phillies and Damon hit .261 with a .743 OPS in 150 games for the Rays. Damon is also two years younger, so either he’s looking for significantly more money than Ibanez or the Yankees simply don’t want anything to do with a reunion.
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.