The Diamondbacks seem determined to get a bat, and it’s apparently going to be either Mark Trumbo or Shin-Soo Choo. It sounds like, for their own good, it had better be Choo.
Jon Heyman reports that they are currently considering trading Trevor Cahill and Tyler Skaggs to the Angels for Trumbo. Which, really, seems like an overpay for power. Skaggs’ numbers in Triple-A and the bigs aren’t fantastic, but he’s just 22 and is one of the better pitching prospects in the game. Cahill is the capable sort of veteran starter that the Angels desperately need in the middle of the rotation.
As for Choo, the Dbacks would certainly have to pay a lot of money. Some have speculated that he’s going to get Carl Crawford money — something like $140 million — which is what happens when the outfielder market is so thin on talent. Choo, of course, is a nice piece at the top of a lineup given his on-base ability, and he has some pop as well. Open question if the Dbacks would think of him as a leadoff guy the way the Reds did, however.
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.