Some minor World Baseball Classic news.
According to John Lott of Toronto’s National Post, Blue Jays righty Esmil Rogers has removed himself from consideration for the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic team after originally being listed on the country’s provisional roster.
Rogers, who was sent to Toronto in a November trade with the Indians, will stay in Jays camp all spring so that he can get to know teammates.
The 27-year-old registered a superb 3.06 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 54/12 K/BB ratio across 53 innings last season for Cleveland. He will operate in a middle relief role this summer for the Blue Jays.
Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera has also declined an invitation to join the Dominican squad.
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.