Back in 2007, the Atlanta Braves made one of the worst trades in living memory, shipping Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Texas Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay. It would have been bad enough if only half of that load of talent went to Texas for the rent-a-Teixeira, but overall it was disastrous.
So you can imagine the chutzpah involved on the part of the Rangers in asking the Braves, once again, to ship them a stud shortstop prospect. This time, however, they did not bite:
Olt is a good prospect, but Simmons is a year younger, is a plus-defender at short and has given the Braves a decent indication that he’ll be able to handle major league pitching. You simply don’t trade that away to a team that has already fleeced you in the past in exchange for a corner guy.
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.