Fortunately, there will be no lasting damage to the Orioles after two more HBPs from the Red Sox on Sunday.
Initial X-rays on the hands of Mark Reynolds and Vladimir Guerrero were negative after both were hit by Boston right-hander Kyle Weiland in Boston’s 8-6 win over the Orioles on Sunday.
“So far, so good,” manager Buck Showalter told MLB.com. “We will keep an ear out the next couple days and see if they progressively get better to tell you that nothing else is going on there. … We may have dodged a bullet. But for Vlady to come out of a ballgame, he’s pretty sore.”
It sounds like both Reynolds and Vlad should be ready to play when the second half starts on Thursday. Showalter, though, isn’t completely content with the way things ended up Sunday. He didn’t feel that either of Weiland’s HBPs today were intentional, but he did think that John Lackey drilled Derrek Lee on purpose Saturday.
“I know the umpires are trying, I just wish they would have issued the warnings before the game started,” Showalter said, “because Lackey should have been thrown out of the game for hitting Lee. That was intentional as it gets. [It will] be interesting to see if they hand down any punishment for Lackey.”
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.