|Hunter Pence taking his at-bat with|
the Philadelphia Phillies.
The San Francisco Giants made a big splash today, acquiring outfielder Hunter Pence from the Philadelphia Phillies.
Answering the Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired shortstop Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins and Shane Victorino from the Phillies, the Giants sent right fielder Nate Schierholtz, catching prospect Tommy Joseph, and Single-A right-hander Seth Rosin for Pence and cash considerations.
Pence is hitting .271 with 17 home runs and 59 RBIs this season. He has a .336 on-base percentage and 37 walks. Pence is 4-for-11 this season at AT&T Park, including a home run and two RBIs.
The Giants' new right fielder also owns a career .329 average at AT&T Park.
San Francisco expects to bat Pence number five in its batting order. Giants' number five hitters have combined to hit just .259, with seven home runs and 52 RBIs.
Pence improves that spot in the order with better numbers, including slugging percentage. Giants' hitters combined to slug just .386 from the number five spot, and Pence is slugging .447.
Pence owns a career .290 average, with 131 home runs, 471 RBIs, and a .342 OBP.
Schierholtz was hitting just .257, with five home runs and 17 RBIs.
The Giants were said to be after Royals' closer Jonathan Broxton, but he was traded to the Kansas City Royals.
Unlike last years deadline deal in which the Giants acquired Carlos Beltran, Pence is not a free agent after this season. He is eligible for arbitration after this year and is expected to make between $13-15 million.
Pence will not be a free agent until after 2013.
Just in: Talking Giants Baseball has learned that "Sabean said there is room for Pence and Melky. Also said deal was a partial reaction to losing streak, Dodger sweep and Dodger moves," according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle via Twitter.
Update (7:16 p.m.): Giants' broadcaster Duane Kuiper just reported Pence will not be activated tonight since he is still en route to San Francisco. Pence wanted to be with the Giants before first pitch, but it looks like that will not happen. He will be activated tomorrow, and he is likely to start.
The Giants made an excellent statement by acquiring Pence. They told the Dodgers and baseball they are in it to win it.
Pence is a dynamic player who can do a lot of things. He can hit for power, run, steal bases, and give you solid defense in the outfield.
The Giants, so desperate for a spark as they sleepwalked through the Dodgers series, picked up someone with flare and energy. Even when he takes his at-bat, he has a lot of moving parts--but he still keeps enough focus to put together a quality at-bat.
He may have only hit .271 with 17 home runs at an offensive paradise in Philadelphia, but being in the thick of a pennant race will motivate a baseball player to succeed.
Pence hit .300 on the road, and 10 of his 17 home runs came away from Philadelphia.
Looking at the Giants' lineup, they now have a formidable middle of the order with Pence:
- 3 - Melky Cabrera, .353/10 HR/51 RBI
- 4 - Buster Posey, .315/13 HR/60 RBI
- 5 - Hunter Pence, .271/17 HR/59 RBI
- 6 - Pablo Sandoval, .299/8 HR/33 RBI (but has been injured).
The numbers do not lie. The Giants will be just fine offensively.
The Giants are also picking up somewhat of a hot hitter. In his last seven games, Pence was 6-for-18.
It will be interesting to see how Pence does at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park, but he has hit well in San Francisco. Will he be the Giants' offensive savior, or will he be another Aaron Rowand?
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Information from ESPN.com contributed to this article.
Check out my NBCBayArea.com article on the San Jose Giants' Joe Panik.
Photo Attribution: By MikeSheridan89 on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons