Last year the Diamondbacks considered following in the Rockies’ footsteps by adding a humidor for the baseballs being used to Chase Field to control the high level of offense, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that they’ve decided against it for this season.
Piecoro quotes a couple studies that suggest using a humidor could decrease home runs at Chase Field by as much as 38 percent, which would potentially turn it from one of the majors’ most hitter-friendly ballparks to a pitcher-friendly environment.
There’s been speculation that former interim general manager Jerry Dipoto–who was a reliever for the Rockies from 1997-2000–was in favor of adding the humidor, but new general manager Kevin Towers wasn’t as keen on the idea. Dipoto has remained with the Diamondbacks, but is now the vice president of scouting and player development.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.