No wonder Joe Beimel couldn’t make a team this spring; he was pitching with a torn elbow ligament.
Beimel underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this month, Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown reports. He plans to resume his career next season.
The 35-year-old said he’s been pitching with the sore elbow for years. He had a 5.33 ERA in 35 appearances for Pittsburgh last year. He signed with the Rangers this spring but was released a week prior to Opening Day.
Beimel had his best seasons with the Dodgers from 2006-08, finishing with ERAs of 2.96, 3.88 and 2.02 while making between 62 and 83 appearances each year. Since he’s left-handed, he shouldn’t have much trouble finding a team willing to take a shot on him next spring.
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.