Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the Giants plan to activate outfielder Hunter Pence from the disabled list on Saturday. Pence traveled with the team to Cincinnati as they open up a three-game weekend series with the Reds.
Pence was hit by a pitch and suffered a broken forearm towards the end of spring training, forcing the 32-year-old to go on the disabled list for the first time since 2007. He had played in all 162 games in each of the 2013 and ’14 seasons. Pence batted .277/.332/.445 with 20 home runs, 74 RBI, and 13 stolen bases in 708 plate appearances last year, helping the Giants win their third championship in five years.
Justin Maxwell got most of the playing time in right field in Pence’s absence. He performed reasonably well, hitting .250/.305/.396 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 106 plate appearances. Maxwell will return to the bench upon Pence’s activation, though he could be utilized in a left field platoon with Norichika Aoki.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).