Hunter Pence injury puts Giants in a power pickle
Here were the Giants’ team leaders in home runs last season against left-handed pitching:
Mike Morse, 8
Buster Posey, 8
Pablo Sandoval, 5
Hunter Pence, 4
Morse and Sandoval are gone, having signed with the Marlins and Red Sox, respectively. And now Pence will be out until sometime in April — on the most optimistic timetable – after suffering a non-displaced fracture in his left forearm Thursday.
So, will Giants scouts pay particular attention to right-handed outfield bats as they evaluate spring games? Absolutely. Aside from Pence, the Giants have three right-swinging outfielders on the 40-man roster: Gary Brown, Daniel Carbonell, and Juan Perez. They combined to hit one home run (by Perez) in the majors last year. (Angel Pagan, the projected center fielder, is a switch hitter.)
Casey McGehee, signed to replace Sandoval at third, is not known for his power, either. He has 13 homers over 1,043 plate appearances in his last two big-league seasons.
One potential complication for the Giants’ contingency plans: Four teams with outfielders to spare are in the National League West and may be disinclined to help a division rival. The Red Sox, though, loom as a potential trade partner even after the injury to Rusney Castillo.
That said, if you expect the Giants to rush into a move this week, you’ve got the wrong organization. The Giants didn’t win three World Series in five years by making desperate trades in spring training.