After playing over 150 games in every season that he was on the Opening Day roster, Hunter Pence dealt with significant injuries for the first time last year. For someone who plays like his hair, shoes, and pants are on fire, that’s quite an accomplishment. Pence broke his arm in March, which was totally out of his control. After returning, he missed time with wrist tendinitis before being shut down for good on August 17 with an oblique injury. Pence will be 33 in mid-April, and has played the game of baseball very hard for the past nine years.
Having spent a ton of money on starting pitching, the San Francisco Giants will expect to contend in 2016, and they will need Pence to return to his pre-injury form. In addition to the questions surrounding Pence, the Giants also have Denard Span, Gregor Blanco, and Angel Pagan coming back from injuries in 2015. Pence is the leader of the outfield, and lost playing time from the rest of the group can be managed — not the case with Pence. If Hunter Pence can return fully healthy and take the field over 150 times, “Even-Year Magic” should be a very real possibility.