San Francisco Giants injury updates: Latest news on Hunter Pence, Matt Cain and more
By Matthew Connolly
The San Francisco Giants took home a much-needed win in their series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, as the offense erupted for six runs on 13 hits to back a quality start by Tim Lincecum.
While it was a great sign to see the team’s stagnant offense suddenly come to life, it does not change the fact that the team remains banged up heading into the final week of April. There isn’t a ton of good news to report on the injury front, but a handful of updates still bear mentioning.
Let’s start with the team’s biggest missing piece.
The Giants’ energizer bunny remains sidelined with a fractured forearm suffered early in Spring Training. Though Bruce Bochy said Pence could return before May about a week into the season, it appears he was being overly optimistic with the right fielder’s six-to-eight week timetable.
Pence is still a couple steps away from taking live batting practice, according to CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic, meaning a mid-May return would be more likely. If the offense continues to struggle, and Pence reports no discomfort swinging the bat, the team might consider expediting his rehab assignment.
In the meantime, Justin Maxwell is doing Pence-like things for the ballclub:
Cain’s prognosis was also a bit too hopeful out the gates.
Information has been pretty limited on the righty since he hit the disabled list on April 7 with a strained flexor-tendon, but Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Sunday that he still hasn’t played catch, meaning he’s a long ways away from retaking his spot in San Francisco’s rotation.
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cainer was held out until mid-to-late May, if not longer, with team management erring on the side of caution.
In the meantime, wunderkind Chris Heston and (gulp) Ryan Vogelsong will continue starting for San Francisco.
Just days after reporting no setbacks with a lower-back strain, Ishikawa suffered (you guessed it) a setback on Tuesday, via Pavlovic. It is currently unknown how long the utility man will be out.
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This has to be hugely disappointing for Ishi considering he hasn’t even been seeing the field of late, skipping the Rivercats’ week-long roadtrip to stay in San Francisco and rehab.
On the plus side, this doesn’t hurt the Giants too much, what with Maxwell’s emergence and plentiful options at first.
Finally, something good. Cordier’s forearm tightness appears to be a thing of the past, as the hard-throwing right-hander has dominated in three innings of relief for the San Jose Giants (Class A). He even managed to pull off a rare four-strikeout inning:
While the big-league Giants are unlikely to bring up Cordier immediately, he presents an interesting option for the ball club should one of their right-handed relievers (cough…Jean Machi…cough) fall on hard times.
For now, Cordier is bound for Sacramento, via Pavlovic.
While the team has not said anything publicly about McGehee still being hobbled, it’s hard not to speculate that his struggles on both sides of the ball have something to do with his knee. He’s far from the only Giant to start 2015 ice cold, but there’s really no excuse for his defensive miscues unless he’s ailing.
While a 15-day DL stint is unlikely, it would represent a convenient solution to getting Matt Duffy (and perhaps even red-hot Rivercat Adam Duvall) some at-bats.