Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has suffered a non-displaced ulnar fracture and will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, the team announced. Pence suffered the injury earlier today when he was hit by a pitch from Cubs righty Corey Black during a Spring Training game. The fracture occurred just above Pence’s left wrist, so he was at least fortunate to avoid what could’ve been a more serious injury.
That said, Pence’s absence for some or all of April is clearly a setback for the Giants lineup. Given how Pence’s time on the DL is expected to be relatively short, San Francisco will likely just use internal options like Gregor Blanco, Gary Brown or Justin Maxwell to fill Pence’s spot in right field. (Or, one of those players could play in left, shifting Nori Aoki to RF.)
On the other hand, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Giants are “now looking for outfielders” and, in an earlier tweet, suggested that Allen Craig of the Red Sox could be “the perfect fit.” I’m not sure if Craig, in particular, is a fit given his high salary and the fact that the Giants wouldn’t have a regular role for him once Pence returned. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the team add a veteran outfielder on a minor league deal just for the sake of a bit more depth, yet a major acquisition like Craig would seem unnecessary unless there are setbacks in Pence’s recovery.
The durable Pence has played in at least 154 games in each of the last seven seasons. His DL stint will snap his streak of 383 consecutive games played, which has been the longest active iron-man streak of any MLB player.