Padres to promote Andrew Cashner for Thursday start

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Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner was sent to Double-A San Antonio on June 10 to begin making the transition from reliever to starter. After only three minor-league outings — in which he posted a 1.88 ERA and 22/3 K/BB ratio in 14 1/3 innings — the flame-throwing 25-year-old is on his way back.

According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, Cashner is scheduled to start for the Padres on Thursday night against the Astros at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. If it goes well (or even if it doesn’t) he’ll be a mainstay in the San Diego rotation going forward.

Cashner has averaged 98.8 mph with his fastball this year in the majors. He also boasts a decent slider and changeup, and should be able to post some impressive numbers while making half his starts at Petco Park.

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.