Chris Carpenter leaves Cardinals camp with neck injury

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Chris Carpenter will miss his scheduled start Monday and has left Cardinals camp to get a second opinion on his injured neck, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Strauss writes that the Cardinals have “remained intentionally vague about Carpenter’s timetable after initially suggesting he would miss one Grapefruit League start.”

Carpenter finally admitted yesterday that he’s had neck soreness for nearly a week, but no one has offered any further details about the specifics of the injury. Whatever the case, the 36-year-old former Cy Young winner’s status for Opening Day is now very much in question.

UPDATE: Strauss has more details now, including the fact that Carpenter has been tested for nerve problems, and paints a picture of the Cardinals being plenty worried about the situation.

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.