Joey Cora among finalists for Seattle manager

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Greg Johns of MLB.com has the inside scoop:

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik has returned to Seattle on Saturday and is beginning the second round of interviews for a new manager this weekend, with former Mariners second baseman Joey Cora among a handful of finalists.

Cora acted as a bench coach and third base coach under Ozzie Guillen during Guillen’s managerial tenure with the White Sox (2004-2011) and Marlins (2012). Cora also spent three years (2001-2003) as a manager in the Expos’ and Mets’ minor league systems.

He suited up for the Mariners from 1995-1998 as part of an 11-year major league playing career.

A’s bench coach Chip Hale, Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon and former Mariners catcher Dave Valle have also interviewed for the Seattle job, which was vacated in late September by Eric Wedge’s resignation.

Brad Ausmus, who has already spoken with the Tigers and Cubs, is also in the running with the M’s.

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.