Chris Perez came on to get the save in last night’s Indians-White Sox game. He closed it out with a strikeout of A.J. Pierzynski and by inducing a groundout by Alex Rios. Then, as closers are wont to do, he gesticulated and emoted some, with a few fist pumps and huzzahs. This did not please Rios:
After the borderline strike to Pierzynski went his way, Perez celebrated with a strong fist pump on the mound. When Rios made contact on his game-ending play, Perez once again started yelling, and Rios didn’t understand what he was doing or appreciate the actions. He had more than a few words for Perez as he was running back to the White Sox dugout, but the situation didn’t come close to escalating into something more.
“Well, I don’t know what was wrong with him,” said Rios with a wry smile. “He just started yelling for no reason. I don’t know why he started yelling, and that’s it.”
I’m on Rios’ side here. I mean really, how great a trick is it to retire Alex Rios? Why is that anything worthy of celebrating? Now, if it were Paul Konerko or someone sure, but Rios? Pfft! Child’s play.
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.