In his first season with the Giants, outfielder Austin Jackson has struggled mightily. Hunter Pence, in his seventh season with the club, has gotten off to an even worse start.
In 51 games, Jackson has a slash line of .245/.316/.295 with zero home runs and a grand total of seven extra-base hits. Pence is hitting .183/.236/.207 with two extra-base hits in 89 plate appearances.
Left-fielder Austin Slater, meanwhile, is dominating at Triple-A Sacramento, with a .333 batting average and .954 OPS to go with 30 RBIs in 50 games.
Giants beat writer Henry Schulman joined Gary & Larry on Monday and said that with Pence and Jackson struggling like this, the Giants know they are going to have to make a change soon.
“They understand that with both Pence and Jackson there’s going to come a point, probably sooner rather than later, where they are going to have to make a tough decision, because we’re getting to the point of the season where it’s not early anymore,” Schulman said. “They need the offense wherever they can get it. Slater has done everything he can to make the 25-man roster, and something you didn’t mention is that with Longoria out, that’s a big right-handed bat that’s missing from the lineup that is going to be out for another six weeks. The Giants know they are more vulnerable against left-handed pitching right now.”
Schulman indicated that in an ideal world, the Giants would like to trade Pence to a team looking for veteran leadership.
“So what and how the denouement is going to be — if I can use a French word — how it’s going to happen, I don’t know,” Schulman said. “When it’s going to happen, I’m not sure. I think with Pence they would love to have him be able to just hit enough so that maybe they could find a team, a young up-and-coming team that could use some veteran leadership down the road. I mean the Giants would have to pay his whole salary, he would agree to have to go, but I agree with you that it can not go on longer with having Pence and Jackson be on the roster, basically half the bench, where you get no production at all. They know it. It’s just a matter of how and when it’s going to happen.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Schulman on Pence and Jackson start from the 3:33 mark.