Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that free-agent lefty reliever Mike Dunn and the Rockies are close to a three-year deal that will pay Dunn $19 million.
Dunn has spent the past six seasons with the Marlins where he has averaged 68 appearances a season while posting a K/BB ratio of 357/150 over 328 innings. For his career he has held lefties to a line of .228/.309/.330. He’s no specialist, necessarily, though, as he has faced more right-handed batters than lefties. Against them he’s allowed a line of .239/.339/.408.
He’s a solid and reliable reliever, though certainly not a superstar. That price tag, however — the three-year commitment as opposed to the dollars themselves — tells you just how crazy teams have gone for bullpen help these days.
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.