Daron Sutton has been the Diamondbacks’ television play-by-play announcer since 2007, but last week he was removed from the team’s broadcasts without explanation.
Senior vice president of communications Josh Rawitch said only that “we’ve made a change in the broadcast-talent lineup” and “Daron will be taking some time off.”
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic finds the whole situation very odd, writing: “You can’t remove a play-by-play guy out of the broadcast booth during the middle of the season without explanation, from a team with great television ratings, at a time when the Diamondbacks are finally finding a groove, and expect muted compliance from the masses.”
And yet the Diamondbacks have done just that, with managing general partner Ken Kendrick declining to comment yesterday except to say it was “a personnel matter” and “I suspect the situation will become clear soon enough.”
Adding to the drama is that Sutton is scheduled to work the FOX national game Saturday, which is Diamondbacks versus Brewers.
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.