The Dodgers announced after last night’s game that they have signed infielder Aaron Miles to a minor league contract.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that the 35-year-old has already reported to the club’s complex in Arizona for extended spring training.
Miles failed to latch on with a team during the offseason, despite batting .275 over 136 games with the Dodgers last season. Of course, he also had a lowly .660 OPS and only 23 of his 125 hits went for extra bases, so he wasn’t nearly as productive as his batting average indicated. But look at all that grit.
The Dodgers just placed utility man Jerry Hairston, Jr. on the disabled list with a hamstring injury and Juan Uribe has been anything but durable recently, so Miles will function as insurance for the infield.
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.