Struggling to think if this is more weird or more insignificant. Hank Schulman of the Chronicle thinks Melky Cabrera is lying about why Bruce Bochy gave him his World Series ring in private yesterday as opposed to in some public “ceremony” of sorts. Cabrera said it was Bochy’ idea. Bochy said a Blue Jays official suggested it. Schulman said “I believe that’s a whopper of a lie.”
Maybe. Or it’s possible that, as often happens with baseball players and managers, all of whom have team officials and media relations people and all manner of other people telling them where to go and when around the ballpark all day, there was some sort of miscommunication as opposed to “a whopper of a lie.” Maybe Blue Jays and/or Giants officials didn’t want it to be a thing and told little white lies. Or maybe, like any good game of corporate telephone, the message was garbled down the line.
Or maybe people just want to believe that, when there is a he-said, he-said, that Melky is a liar and that’s the end of it.
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.