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


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.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
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On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.

After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.

Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.

The full statement:

Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.

We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.

We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.

Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.