Rangers prospects likely to be charged with sexual assault of a teammate in a hazing incident

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On Friday, Ken Rosenthal reported  that Major League Baseball and the Texas Rangers were investigating an alleged sexual assault that involving multiple players at the Rangers’ academy in the Dominican Republic. There were hardly any other details apart from the report that the alleged incident happened many months ago and that the players were on leave while they were being investigated.

Today Yahoo’s Jeff Passan has some details, and they involve a different set of alleged circumstances than many likely assumed: a hazing incident. Specifically, Passan reports that the players allegedly sexually assaulted an underage teammate in a hazing ritual which targeted players new to the team’s Dominican complex:

While prosecutors in the Dominican Republic have yet to press charges for the alleged assault, they told the court they intend to charge at least four players who held down a teammate and masturbated him, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Among the players expected to be charged are Rougned Odor, the younger brother of Rangers major league star Rougned Odor (yes, they have the same name) and top catching prospect Yohel Pozo.

Passan’s story has specific details, including the description of a video involving the alleged incident. He also talks about the culture of hazing in Dominican Republic and Venezuelan baseball circles.

A pretty disturbing story which will likely have far-reaching repercussions.

 

 

 

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.