Hunter Pence sits Saturday, ending longest active consecutive starts streak

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The Giants clinched a spot in the postseason on Thursday and they are slated to play in either Pittsburgh or St. Louis for the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday, so manager Bruce Bochy has decided to rest most of his regulars for today’s game against the Padres.

1. Gary Brown – CF
2. Matt Duffy – 2B
3. Brandon Belt – 1B
4. Andrew Susac – C
5. Joaquin Arias – 3B
6. Brandon Crawford – SS
7. Chris Dominguez – LF
8. Juan Perez – RF
9. Jake Peavy – RHP

Noticeably absent from the lineup is Hunter Pence, who will miss his first start since September 23, 2012. This ends a streak of 331 consecutive starts, the longest active streak in the majors. There’s still a chance he could extend his consecutive games played streak (also the longest active in MLB) to 382 if he makes a pinch-hit appearance, but Bochy might just give him the entire day off as the Giants gear up for the postseason.

According to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, the Braves’ Freddie Freeman now has the longest consecutive starts streak at 166.

Report: Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.