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Angels sign Dustin Ackley to minor league deal

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The Angels inked free agent infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley to a minor league contract on Saturday, per a team announcement. The deal includes an invitation to spring training.

Ackley, 28, missed the bulk of the 2016 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He played his last full season with the Mariners and Yankees in 2015, splitting time between left field and second base and batting a combined .231/.284/.429 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI in 264 PA.

The Angels will look to Ackley as a backup candidate alongside outfielder Ben Revere and infielder Cliff Pennington.

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.