Masahiro Tanaka feels good after playing catch

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There are some people out there who call it “having a catch.” These are the same godless heathens who insist upon saying one has to “stand on line” instead of stand “in line.” I’ll give them their use of “soda” over “pop” because that’s just common sense, but I will not abide “have a catch.” Anyway:

“Sweaty and smiling” would be a great name for the debut album of a second-tier southern boogie band in the 1970s. A band that opened for Molly Hatchet at the civic center that time. You remember: when your big brother’s friend gave you your first beer and you felt like a big man? Those were the days.

Anyway: that’s all I got on Tanaka. They Yankees are only a game and a half out of the wild card, so there’s a non-trivial chance they could use him in the last month of the season.

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.