On Friday, the San Francisco Giants announced that three-time All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence will miss the next eight weeks after tearing his right hamstring and likely undergoing a reconstructive surgery.
Pence tore the hamstring tendon off the bone in the back off his right knee on Wednesday, June 1, while sprinting down the first-base line to beat out a groundball hit in the infield. The Giants’ training staff assisted Pence off the field.
Though a surgery has not yet been scheduled, the Giants and Pence are leaning toward a procedure. Having a procedure done will prompt a smoother and more clear-cut return for the Giants’ right-fielder, as avoiding surgery increases the risk of healing complications and future injury.
Replacing what Pence brings to the table for the Giants is virtually impossible, considering the fact that he leads the team in RBIs with 36 and his .298 batting average ranks second on the team leaderboard. To take care of business in right field, San Francisco will have to get creative while they mix and match their batting order to generate offense.
Jarrett Parker started in right on Friday night against the St. Louis Cardinals and walked two times in four plate appearances. Kelby Tomlinson and Mac Williamson, a pair of 25-year-olds with outfield experience, are expected to get some playing time. Brandon Belt, the Giants’ primary first baseman, could draw a few starts in right, too, and that would presumably shift Buster Posey to first and Trevor Brown behind the plate.
Pence’s 2015 season was plagued by injury. He fractured his left forearm late in spring training last season and remained on the shelf for over a month. Left wrist tendinitis cost him a month in the middle of the year, and an oblique strain held him out of action for the final month of the season.
This is the second hamstring ailment Pence has had to deal with this season. The first was not nearly as serious, but Pence was sidelined for a few days with right hamstring soreness a little over a week ago.
With a successful surgery and a minor-league rehab assignment, Pence is expected to return to the Giants’ lineup in about two months.