Eric Gagne addressed questions about his past connections to performance-enhancing drugs upon arriving to Dodgers’ camp on Saturday, according to Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse:
“I’ve said it 150 times, it’s always going to be on my resume for the
rest of my life,” Gagne told reporters. “People will second-guess
everything I do and if I have a good year they’ll all second guess.
That’s normal. I’m not expecting anything else. But for me it’s over. I
have to go on. I can talk about it every day. It doesn’t matter. I
still have to go out and pitch and perform.”
Gagne, who turned 34 in January, signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers this week. Honestly, I almost forgot Gagne was included in the Mitchell Report and that’s probably because he’s been completely irrelevant for so long.
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.