Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees intend to offer GM Brian Cashman a new contract. Why?
Yankees higher-ups are impressed with Cashman’s in-season pickups, including starterBrandon McCarthy, infielder/outfielder Martin Prado and third baseman Chase Headley, and sources say they fairly don’t blame him for the underperformance of some of their established veteran hitters . . .
All of that is true. The offseason pickups like Beltran and McCann seemed smart at the time. And it’s certainly not his fault that CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka were injured.
One wonders who the Yankees blame for the team not developing any position players of note in several years, but it apparently is not Cashman. Or, if it is, they’re willing to overlook it.
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.