Indians trade Saul Rivera to the Dbacks; Bob Howry released

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Saul Rivera headshot.jpgThe headline pretty much says it all.  Cash considerations head back to Cleveland in exchange for Rivera.

Rivera was something of a workhorse for the Washington Nationals in 2007 and 2008, but he was sent down to AAA in 2009 before being released. I can only assume that Manny
Acta put in a good word for him in order to get the Tribe to sign him but, as is evidenced by the lack of a headshot with him wearing an Indians cap, he hasn’t pitched for the big club this year. Instead, he has struck out 11 and walked 7 in 17 innings here in beautiful Columbus, Ohio.

Howry has been lit up like a Christmas tree this year for Arizona, posting an ERA of 10.67 in fourteen outings. Something must be wrong with him physically, because as Aaron pointed out when he was signed last winter, He’s been a workhorse himself, with only Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, Francisco Rodriguez, Francisco
Cordero, Scot Shields, Chad Qualls, and Scott Linebrink pitching as many innings as he has while posting a better ERA+.

If he’s healthy you have to figure that someone will take a chance on Howry, because it’s hard to fathom that someone could lose it just like that [snaps fingers].

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

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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.