From MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert comes word that the Diamondbacks have placed shortstop Chris Owings on the 15-day disabled list because of a left shoulder injury. Nick Ahmed had his contract purchased from Triple-A Reno in a corresponding 25-man roster move and Eric Chavez (knee) was shifted to the 60-day disabled list to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
Owings is undergoing an MRI Sunday to determine the exact severity of the shoulder problem that has been bothering him since the middle of last week.
The 22-year-old has hit .277/.313/.458 with six home runs and 21 RBI in 72 games this season for the Diamondbacks, who will use Ahmed and Didi Gregorius at shortstop in his absence. Arizona (35-48) enters play Sunday tied for last place in the National League West.
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.