Hunter Pence to bat leadoff for the Giants

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The Giants just got shut out for the third time in nine games. That has led Bruce Bochy to shake things up in the lineup. From Hank Schulman:

After the Giants fell to the Cardinals 2-0 Wednesday night, Bochy said he will drop Gregor Blanco from the leadoff spot and replace him with Hunter Pence, perhaps as soon as Thursday.

When Brandon Belt returns from nearly two months on the disabled list Friday he will bat second behind Pence.

I dig it. Blanco has an OBP of .305. Pence: .355. Obviously the Giants have more problems on offense than that — and not having Brandon Belt around lately has been a big problem — but what’s happening right now isn’t working, so why not make a change?

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.