The Mariners have called up Jeremy Bonderman from Triple-A Tacoma to start on Sunday against the Twins, per Greg Johns on Twitter. Bonderman, now 30 years old, hasn’t thrown a pitch in the Majors since October 1, 2010, a season in which he posted a 5.53 ERA in 171 innings. The right-hander has a 4.52 ERA in 63.2 innings with Tacoma.
Bonderman dealt with thoracic outlet syndrome in his right shoulder in 2008 and ’09, and had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last year. The first round pick of the Athletics back in 2001, Bonderman has dealt with a ton of adversity as he has never finished with an ERA lower than 4.00 in any season.
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.