Yankees looking at Mark Reynolds, Michael Young

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Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Yankees are contemplating Mark Reynolds, Michael Young and Brian Roberts as they seek to add to their infield

Reynolds would be a re-signing after finishing last season with the Bombers. He hit .236/.300/.455 with six homers in 36 games with the Yankees and .220/.306/.393 with 21 homers in 445 at-bats overall. Young came in at .279/.335/.395 in 519 at-bats with the Phillies and Dodgers, while Roberts hit .249/.312/.392 in 265 at-bats for the Orioles.

As things stand now, the Yankees are looking at Kelly Johnson at second base, Eduardo Nunez at third base and Derek Jeter at shortstop, with Brendan Ryan in a reserve role, assuming that Alex Rodriguez’s suspension is upheld. Ideally, they could find someone capable of challenging both Johnson and Nunez for at-bats, but there really isn’t anyone like that left in free agency, unless they want to go the Yuniesky Betancourt route. Of what’s left, Eric Chavez would probably be their best option. However, he’s a big injury risk. Reynolds and Young would both be more attractive if they weren’t such poor defenders. As is, the return of Reynolds seems the most likely scenario.

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

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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.