Giants likely to fill Hunter Pence void with in-house candidates

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The Giants are expected to be without outfielder Hunter Pence for six to eight weeks after his arm was broken by a Corey Black fastball in Thursday’s spring exhibition against the Cubs. Pence has some awfully large shoes to fill, but the Giants are planning to do so with existing in-house candidates, per ESPN’s Jim Bowden.

Gregor Blanco figures to be a heavy favorite to grab at-bats in Pence’s place. Blanco, 31, posted a career-best 103 adjusted OPS (also known as OPS+) with 16 stolen bases in 444 plate appearances last season. As roughly half of Pence’s missing time would consume the remainder of spring training exhibition games, Blanco’s playing time would only be increased through the month of April.

Pence was coming off of another productive campaign for the Giants, batting .277 with 20 home runs, 74 RBI, and 13 stolen bases in 708 plate appearances.

Marlins give Don Mattingly two-year extension

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The Marlins have announced that they have inked manager Don Mattingly to a two-year contract extensions. There’s a third year in the form of a mutual option.

Mattingly is finishing up the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. He’s 272-364 in that period and the club has lost 99 games already this season. The current bad run, however, obviously corresponds with a massive rebuild the team began undertaking following the 2017 season and the team’s change in ownership. Mattingly has not had much to work with over the past two seasons but he has likewise, largely, kept the team on as even a keel as one could hope under the circumstances. He has certainly impressed the Marlins’ brass enough to take the unusual step of keeping on a manager they inherited from a previous ownership and front office group.

In other news, the Marlins also announced a two-year contract extension for shortstop Miguel Rojas valued at $10.25 million. There’s a vesting option for a third year. The deal buys out Rojas’ final year of arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency, plus that option.

Rojas, 30, is hitting .285/.335/.383 (OPS+ 92) this year.