The Phillies have traded shortstop Ronny Cedeno to the Diamondbacks in exchange for catcher Raywilly Gomez, Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona reports. Cedeno was outrighted to Triple-A by the Phillies on Saturday to make room for Sean O’Sullivan, who started the nightcap of the doubleheader against the Braves.
Cedeno, 31, played seven games for the Phillies at the major league level, going hitless with two strikeouts in nine plate appearances. With Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Cedeno slashed .286/.327/.367. He will report to Triple-A Reno and serve as infield depth with the Diamondbacks recently losing Chris Owings to a shoulder injury.
Gomez, 24, slashed .273/.355/.360 as the catcher for Double-A Mobile. The Phillies are in need of catching depth at the minor league level, having lost both Carlos Ruiz and Wil Nieves to injuries recently.
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.