Blue Jays not close in search for new manager

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MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has the update:

The Blue Jays’ search for a new manager temporarily will be put on hold this week while Alex Anthopoulos attends the annual General Managers Meetings in Palm Springs, Calif.

The meetings are set to run from Wednesday until Friday, which means for at least a few days the quest to find John Farrell’s replacement will go on the back burner.

The Blue Jays have interviewed Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale, Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and their own third base coach Brian Butterfield. But those four are considered secondary candidates, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, because the club’s higher-ups want someone with previous managerial experience at the big league level. More interviews are coming.

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.