UPDATE: Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the Phillies have faxed Blanton’s medical records to the Orioles. No word if an agreement is actually in place, though.
12:02 PM ET: CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reports that the Orioles have talked to the Phillies about Joe Blanton.
No sense whether anything is imminent, but the interest makes sense given that the Orioles’ biggest problem is starting pitching. Blanton isn’t sexy — to most people anyway; some people are into guys like him — but he is solid enough, especially compared to what the Orioles are currently sporting rotation-wise.
Blanton is 8-9 with a 4.59 ERA. He has given up a lot of homers this year, but he doesn’t walk a lot of dudes and has a WHIP of 1.193 which is better than everyone in the O’s rotation.
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.