Chris Perez out 4-6 weeks with strained left oblique

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From beat writer Nick Camino of WTAM 1100 in Cleveland comes word that Indians closer Chris Perez is expected to be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks after suffering a left internal oblique strain during his first bullpen session of the spring.

Tribe trainer Lonnie Soloff told reporters Sunday in camp that Perez’s “body wasn’t ready for the intensity” of the throwing session, hinting at a possible offseason conditioning issue.

The Indians aren’t ruling him out for Opening Day, but Perez would have to return on the early side of his recovery timetable and then really grind over the final few weeks of spring training in order to avoid landing on the season-opening disabled list.

If Perez isn’t ready, look for talented setup man Vinnie Pestano to handle save chances in the early going.

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.