Apparently Hunter Pence didn't get the memo, as he was only able to muster 13 homers and 31 total extra-base hits in 2017, resulting in what was by far the lowest slugging percentage of his 11-year career. He didn't hit his first home run at home until Aug. 5, and Pence, who was once a model of good health, made another trip to the DL, missing three weeks with a hamstring injury. His contact skills remain strong as he approaches his age-35 season, but Pence doesn't run anymore, he doesn't hit for power and the health issues are mounting. The home park works against him, but it's not like he does a lot of damage on the road either. The Giants are talking about moving Pence to a part-time role, so while his name value may carry him to a top-350 ADP, at this stage he is better left for NL-only formats.
Pence will move to left field this season, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Giants will move the newly acquired Andrew McCutchen to right field, the position where Pence has received all of his starts the past 10 years. After a disappointing season at the plate last year, Pence's role may be reduced in 2018, especially if the Giants can add another outfielder before the start of spring training.
Pence may be in line for a part-time role next season, depending on the Giants' offseason moves this winter, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports. Pence is set to enter the final year of his five-year deal, and it's become clear that the club wants to upgrade defensively and potentially sign an impact bat within the next couple months. If San Francisco is able to receive the services of an outfielder or two, Pence will be expendable, and will likely be used in a limited role for the club next season. The 34-year-old slashed .260/.315/.285 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI in 134 games last season.
An MRI on Pence's back came back negative, Andrew Baggarly of The San Jose Mercury News reports. Pence exited Sunday's game after suffering a back injury, but tests confirmed the issue wasn't anything overly serious. He'll have plenty of time to heal in the offseason, so Pence should enter the final year of his contract healthy. He posted career-low marks in OBP (.315) and slugging percentage (.385) this season, though he did manage to play in 134 contests after missing 166 games over the previous two seasons combined.
Pence left Sunday's game after suffering a minor back injury while making a diving catch in the outfield, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Gorkys Hernandez replaced Pence after the catch. Pence will enter the final year of his contract in 2018 coming off career-low marks in OBP (.315) and slugging percentage (.385), but he managed to play 134 games after missing 166 contests in the previous two seasons combined.
Pence is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Diamondbacks, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Manager Bruce Bochy is sitting both Pence and Buster Posey in this one, presumably just so both are well rested for the team's final home series. Pence is batting .309/.377/.471 in September, but he has just a .704 OPS for the season, by far the lowest mark of his career. Injuries in recent seasons have lowered his floor significantly.