There are all sorts of indications that the Dodgers are broke — not offering arbitration to Randy Wolf, shopping George Sherrill, unconvincingly pretending to be interested in Roy Halladay — but Ned Colletti tells Dylan Hernandez of the LAT that it isn’t so:
Asked whether the Dodgers’ payroll could decrease, Colletti said, “Not at the moment . . . A lot of it depends on how the winter unfolds with revenue and
different things along those lines. If we see good
signs, it goes up. If we don’t see good signs, it probably doesn’t go
Um, OK, so that isn’t exactly a strong proclamation of solvency. Of course, he didn’t rule out that payroll could increase. He did all but rule out the Dodgers signing anyone this week. The biggest thing on his agenda: re-signing Brad Ausmus.
Dare to dream, L.A., dare to dream.
Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.
Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.
What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.