Hunter Pence likely to begin minor league rehab assignment Friday

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Good news here for the Giants, as Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com reports that Hunter Pence is likely to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Sacramento.

Pence is currently working his way back from a fractured left forearm which he suffered when he was hit by a pitch on March 5. He recently progressed to batting practice and Giants manager Bruce Bochy said there’s “no hesitation” in his swing and that the outfielder feels “ready to go.”

Pence missed nearly all of spring training, so this rehab assignment figures to be lengthy. Giants general manager Bobby Evans said earlier this week that it might be 7-10 games before they activate him.

The defending World Series champion Giants have managed to go 14-14 without Pence so far, but getting him back will be a big boost to their lineup. Only the White Sox and Phillies have scored fewer runs in MLB so far this season.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.