Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Starling Peralta to Cubs

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Starling Peralta is back with the Cubs after the Diamondbacks returned the Rule 5 pick to his original organization.

As a 21-year-old who spent last season pitching at low Single-A he was always a long shot to crack the Opening Day roster and then Peralta gave up seven run in three innings of spring training action.

All of which makes this February 21 article from the Diamondbacks’ official website titled “Peralta opening D-Backs’ eyes” sort of amusing:

When they selected Starling Peralta from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft in December, the D-backs knew they were getting a pretty good pitcher. After watching him throw a couple of live batting-practice sessions, the right-hander might be better than they thought.

And then after watching him throw in actual games, they decided to send him back to the Cubs. Such is life as a Rule 5 pick.

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.