Hunter Pence out 2 months with broken forearm

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Friday, March 6, 2015
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Giants' Hunter Pence, right, talks with Casey McGehee during batting practice during spring training baseball workouts Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence was hit on the left forearm near the wrist by a pitch thrown by hard-throwing Chicago Cubs prospect Corey Black in the sixth inning of Thursday's spring training games.

Pence left to have X-rays before the end of the game.

The Giants are afraid that Hunter Pence likely suffered a broken left forearm when he was hit by a pitch against the Cubs.

"It doesn't look good," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We believe it's broken, we're just getting more X-rays just to see for sure, and have it confirmed. Have our doc look at it, that's what we believe."

Few players might be more important to the Giants' effort to defend their World Series title than Pence. The former Astros and Phillies star has hit .271/.328/.452 in 2 1/2 seasons for the Giants in the heart of their batting lineup.

Bochy left the dugout to visit Pence in the trainer's room to check on his right fielder and see how he felt.

"You know Hunter, he's always upbeat, optimistic," Bochy said. "He tried to get out of the way, and (the pitch) kind of ran and caught him there. If it is broken, the silver lining is, it's this early in the spring, we'll have a month to start the healing process."

Asked how long Pence might be out, Bochy said, "We're going to wait until it's confirmed, then talk about it. ... We haven't talked yet. We'll wait on the X-rays and see exactly what it is, how bad it is, but until then, no, (the trainer) didn't tell me."

As far as the immediate impact on the lineup, Bochy said he'd continue to play his current collection of outfielders in Pence's absence.

"Same guys we're throwing out there, we're not going to change anything: Aoki and Blanco and Perez and Maxwell, those guys will be going out there," Bochy said. "(General manager Brian Sabean) will talk after I'm done here. You hate to see it, unfortunately, but these things do happen. This guy's worked so hard all winter, you hate to see it in his second game out there. We're still hoping for the best news, still hoping we're wrong on this call."

As far as his options, Bochy was referring to the Giants' two winter additions to their outfield, former Royals Norichika Aoki and Justin Maxwell, as well as the Giants' regular outfield reserves Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez. All four are already contending for playing time in left field or for roles coming off the bench in the Giants' mix-and-match scheme that keeps their bench players busy.

Pence's last major injury to either his hand or wrist area was a chip fracture in his right wrist in 2007, which forced him to the disabled list for almost a month as he missed 27 games with the Astros during his rookie season.