Jon Heyman reports that the Boston Red Sox have traded starter Clay Buchhlolz to the Philadelphia Phillies. Minor league second baseman Josh Tobias will head to Boston.
Buchholz had a forgettable 2016, posting an ugly 4.78 ERA in 139.1 as a swingman. He rebounded in the second half, however, so it’s not crazy to think that the 32-year-old former ace can rebound for a full year in 2017. Buchholz will make $13.5 million after Boston picked up his option this past season. That’s a lot of money for a back-end starter, but he’ll be counted on to carry more of the load in Philly than he did in Boston.
Tobias is 24 and was a 1oth round pick out of the University of Florida in 2015. He has yet to play above A-ball. In two minor league seasons he has gotten on base at a decent clip but doesn’t seem to have any power. Then again, it’s not like the Phillies were going to give up a lot to assume a pitcher with a lot of question marks surrounding him who is making $13.5 million a year.
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.