San Francisco Giants

Hunter Pence upbeat a day after fracturing forearm

San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence (8) hit during a spring training baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Thursday, March 5, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence (8) hit during a spring training baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Thursday, March 5, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz. AP

-- Giants outfielder Hunter Pence walked into the clubhouse at Scottsdale Stadium Friday morning wearing a cast on his fractured left arm but in an upbeat mood.

"These things happen," said Pence, who sustained a fracture in his forearm when he was hit by a pitch Thursday. "You can never be upset when you're competing and something like that happens. There's no malicious intent. It really couldn't have happened at a much better time. I have a lot of time to get healthy and get back for regular-season games."

Early indications were that Pence could be out six to eight weeks. Pence, who has played in an MLB-leading 383 consecutive games, said he hasn't given much thought to the possibility of missing the season opener. He has played in every game since being traded to the Giants in July 2012.

Right now, he said, the focus is on the first steps to recovery. Last night, he did research on how to sleep with a broken arm, "and just kind of propped it up on a pillow and went to sleep." He arrived at the stadium this morning, asked if there was anything he could do today, and was told no.

"Sometimes doing nothing is doing something," said the notoriously active outfielder. "I'm healing, so that is something to do."

Pence said he has broken two bones before -- a wrist, during his rookie major league season, and a pinkie finger. Both healed "outstanding. I heal pretty fast, generally -- usually quicker than I'm supposed to."

There's a question of how quickly Pence would be able to return even after he gets the cast off. Whenever that happens, he said the main focus will be building up strength in his left wrist so that he can rotate it following through on swings. He said he intends to try to maintain his timing until then by watching pitches from a machine and watching games.

Pence said he was overwhelmed by the amount of support he received after Thursday's game, both from teammates and fans.

"To me it didn't' feel like it was that big a deal," he said. "It's a bone. I'm not dying ... But still, all the concern felt really good, fan support, it really was pretty special."

The Giants have options to fill in for Pence in the outfield, including Gregor Blanco, Juan Perez and Justin Maxwell, who is getting a close look in camp. Pence said the Giants have "all the faith in the world" in Blanco, who has stepped up in recent years following injuries to Angel Pagan and the suspension of Melky Cabrera in 2012.

Perez is in the lineup Friday in right field, with Blanco in left, for the Giants' game against the Texas Rangers in Surprise, Ariz. Offseason addition Nori Aoki, who has experience as well playing right field, was not making the trip.

As soon as the pitch from Cubs reliever Corey Black struck him, Pence said, he "had a confident feeling that it wasn't good." But he was staying positive a day later, even going so far as to say he thinks the situation could be "a great blessing. It always finds a way to be that."

"The saddest part," he added, "is I can't really comb my hair anymore."

Call The Bee’s Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015. See his baseball coverage at sacbee.com/mlb. Follow him on Twitter at @matthewkawahara.

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