This offseason Vinnie Pestano lost his arbitration case to the Indians and then he got demoted to Triple-A in mid-April after just three appearances, but the once-elite setup man has now been called back up to Cleveland.
Pestano earned the promotion by posting a 1.78 ERA and 32/7 K/BB ratio in 25 innings at Triple-A, where he looked very much like the guy who had a 2.82 ERA and 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings for the Indians from 2010-2013.
Prior to the demotion Pestano’s fastball velocity was way down into the high-80s and he battled elbow problems in 2013, so that’ll be something to keep an eye on as he tries to reestablish himself as a late-inning bullpen option for the Indians.
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.