Fred Talbot: 1941-2013

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Fred Talbot, a right-hander from Virginia who pitched eight seasons in the majors for the Yankees, A’s, White Sox, and Pilots from 1963-1970, passed away last week at age 71.

Talbot had a 38-56 record and 4.12 ERA in 854 career innings despite playing in the pitcher-friendly 1960s, but I’ll forever remember him as a prominent character in the greatest baseball book of all time, Jim Bouton’s must-read “Ball Four.”

Bouton and Talbot often had an adversarial relationship as Yankees and Pilots teammates, but he was also portrayed as an amusing story-teller and the victim of a pretty great prank.

His obituary was published in the Washington Post.

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.