Carlos Quentin hasn’t played since July 30 because of a knee injury and Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres have “growing concern as to when Quentin will play again this season.”
Quentin, who had offseason surgery on the same knee, tested the knee recently with some physical activity and then went for a second opinion after complaining of soreness.
All of which means he’s no sure thing to play again this season, especially with the Padres not in contention. When healthy enough to be in the lineup Quentin has hit .275 with an .855 OPS to basically match the production from last year that got him a three-year, $27 million contract extension, but he’s played just 82 games after playing just 86 games last season.
Quentin always hits and he’s always injured, which is why the multi-year deal was a risky one for the Padres.
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.