The Yankees have made a change at backup catcher, activating Francisco Cervelli from the 60-day disabled list and sending John Ryan Murphy back to Triple-A.
Murphy did a solid job playing behind starter Brian McCann, hitting .286 with one homer and a .673 OPS in 24 games, but at age 23 the Yankees probably wouldn’t mind him playing more regularly in the minors and when healthy Cervelli has been a quality backup for several years now.
He sat out two months with a hamstring injury and previously missed a lot of time with a concussion, but Cervelli is a career .269 hitter with a nice .340 on-base percentage in 206 games for the Yankees.
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.