MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that Matt Garza will rejoin the Brewers’ rotation on Wednesday, in time for a start against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Garza had been on the disabled list since August 4 after straining his oblique in a start against the Cardinals the previous day.
Prior to going on the disabled list, Garza had a 3.58 ERA with a 104/43 K/BB ratio in 145 2/3 innings across 23 starts.
The Brewers optioned starter Jimmy Nelson to Single-A Brevard County and recalled Alfredo Figaro from Triple-A Nashville. Per the team’s Twitter, Nelson will return to start on Monday against the Cubs.
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.