Already down an outfielder following Josh Hamilton’s thumb injury, the Angels have placed Kole Calhoun on the disabled list after he injured his ankle last night.
Calhoun tweaked his ankle running to first base on an extra-inning ground out and had to be helped off the field. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that he was on crutches after the game, but seemed hopeful that the ankle wasn’t broken.
It’s rough news for the Angels, but also for Calhoun because this was going to be his first extended opportunity in the majors at age 26. He fared well in a 58-game stint with the Angels last season and has a strong minor-league track record, including hitting .318 with 26 homers and 22 steals in 164 games at Triple-A.
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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.