The Giants held off for more than a week hoping to see improvement in Hunter Pence’s troublesome left wrist. But they finally placed their right fielder on the 15-day disabled list before Friday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Giants listed Pence’s ailment as left wrist tendinitis. His DL stint is retroactive to June 3, the day after Pence said he aggravated the wrist making a sliding catch on a fly ball hit by the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen at AT&T Park.
Pence makes his second trip to the DL after starting the season there with a fractured left forearm that kept him out until May 16. Pence is eligible to return June 18 against Seattle.
Manager Bruce Bochy, though, said Pence has been shut down for the past few days, as the Giants “didn’t want him swinging the bat and aggravating this thing.”
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As Pence prepared to be re-evaluated by team doctors Friday afternoon, he briefly talked with reporters and said he has “finally noticed some improvement” with the wrist.
Asked if he hopes this will be a short DL stay, Pence said: “Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know that answer.”
Bochy said he hopes Pence won’t be out longer than the 15 days, but it will depend on how quickly the wrist improves and when Pence can start resuming baseball activities.
“We’ll see how the progression’s going,” Bochy said. “Right now, he hasn’t been doing anything – we just backed him off … (but) I’m hopeful he’ll be ready when his time’s up.”
To fill Pence’s roster spot, the Giants purchased the contract of right-handed relief pitcher Michael Broadway from the River Cats. They didn’t have to make a 40-man roster move, as they were previously at 39 players. Bochy said the Giants wanted to be covered in the bullpen coming off a trip, the reason for not adding a hitter to replace Pence.
Broadway was 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 22 games for Sacramento, with 39 strikeouts and just 16 hits allowed in 262/3 innings. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-hander throws a high-90s fastball and hard slider that he described as more of a cutter with varying levels of movement.
“He’s intriguing,” Bochy said. “We’ve been looking forward to giving him a look so we could take a look at what we have. He’s been around a little bit – you have to admire his perseverance. He’s had a great year and earned this call-up.”
Broadway spent 10-plus years in the minors.
The River Cats were in El Paso on Thursday, and Broadway said he was in his hotel room watching “Jarhead” when he got the call from Giants general manager Bobby Evans. The call came in around midnight, he said, and Broadway almost didn’t answer it because he didn’t recognize the number.
“He said, ‘Hey Mike, this is Bobby Evans,’” Broadway said. “When he said that, I was kind of like, this could be something good.”
Broadway hopped an 8 a.m. flight and arrived in San Francisco around 2 p.m. He said he didn’t get much sleep, but neither did the rest of the Giants, who returned after a night game in New York on Thursday and got in around 4 a.m.
Broadway said he was “walking on eggshells” a little being in the Giants’ clubhouse for the first time – quite an image, given his stature – but that Jake Peavy already had taken him aside and told him to approach players with any questions. He also told Broadway to trust the fingers Buster Posey puts down behind the plate – sound advice.
Broadway already is familiar with a few faces in the clubhouse from rehab stints or time spent in Sacramento this season. That includes outfielder Jarrett Parker, who was recalled two days ago and gave this scouting report on Broadway:
“His presence on the mound is pretty dominating. He’s a force to be reckoned with, that’s for sure.”
▪ Bochy said he checked with a few regulars about needing rest after the difficult travel, but “they’re all good; they want to play.” The Giants’ lineup, then, against Diamondbacks right-hander Chase Anderson:
And the Diamondbacks’ lineup:
Bochy added that he, pitching coach Dave Righetti and the training staff talked to Bumgarner about flying back before the team to avoid the quick turnaround before his start, but Bumgarner shot that idea down.
“He’s hard-headed,” Bochy said. “He’s young; he’s fine. He got some sleep on the plane.”
▪ Bochy said the turnaround is “something you have to deal with” – but objected to playing at home the day after an East Coast night game (doing so in the opposite direction is prohibited).
“I think we’re dropping the ball here having teams play night games and go through three time zones and play the next day,” Bochy said. “You’re risking injury, I think, with these guys. Plus it’s not one day, it’s a couple days that could affect them. Hopefully we’ll fix this.”
Scheduling is up to the teams, but Bochy said “some other people could get involved, including the players’ association,” if the issue is one of player safety.
“I think you’ve got to look out for the players – it doesn’t happen without them – take care of them, keep this from happening,” Bochy said. “It’s a tough enough game to come out here every day – and we’re fortunate, I get that. But it just puts a lot of stress on the body.”
▪ Bochy said Gregor Blanco, on the seven-day concussion DL, was “feeling a lot better” on Thursday.
“According to him, he’s on his way, he’s getting over the hump with the dizziness,” Bochy said.
Still, Bochy said it’s “just a matter of him taking a break right now,” and the Giants don’t want to rush Blanco after seeing Belt suffer a concussion relapse last year.
“We’re optimistic it’s going to be only seven days, (but) we thought that with Belt,” Bochy said. “You never know with these concussions, but he seems to be doing well.”
▪ Chris Heston, who threw the major leagues’ first no-hitter in New York, returned to AT&T Park to find his locker relocated to the same corner as fellow starters Tim Hudson, Peavy, Bumgarner and Matt Cain.
Said Heston: “I guess I’ve moved up in the real estate.”