Hunter Pence, unfiltered

Saturday, May 9

Giants right fielder Hunter Pence, who went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly as he began his Minor League injury rehabilitation stint Friday with Triple-A Sacramento, spoke Saturday at a news conference during which he addressed various topics. Thanks to the Giants’ media relations department, which provided a transcript of Pence’s remarks, here’s what he had to say.

On his journey to recovery:
“It’s been a long journey, for sure. Having an injury that not too many people have had, I didn’t realize the amount of work rehab really is, and how long it was going to be, and how painful. It’s just a long process. Your days are really, extremely long, trying to just get the wrist back moving as quick as possible, and a lot of treatment. I owe so much gratitude to our training staff, the amount of work they put in. It’s a long time sitting there, twisting a wrist, and holding hands with people. It’s been tough.”
On the emotional aspect of his injury:
“Emotions are things you can somewhat control, especially since you can’t control when you get hit by a pitch in a certain way. So I tried to stay in positive spirits. I think I have some unrealistic expectations of coming back, but I don’t think it hurts to dream big. But the process, I just try to take it each moment, each day. Whatever they need me to do, whatever we can think of to intelligently get it going again. A lot of times you have to hold back because I want to push through a little more than it will allow you to.”
“Well, at least it happened this early and I can get back quicker. Control what you can control and just try to get back out there. It’s definitely still to be determined how it’s going to affect this season because you put in all your work in the offseason, you come in ready to rock, and then having to get this going as quick as possible, so I feel good. The training staff and our strength team have done a wonderful job.”
On the Sacramento experience:
“It’s been incredible. It’s really nice to be able to just hop in a car and drive out here, and Sacramento is a beautiful town. I just got a little bit of time driving around, but you got a nice river and a beautiful stadium here. The fans were enthusiastic last night and it’s a nice setup, and I feel pretty grateful to come here and play some ball.”
On participating in Friday night’s game:
“It was great. I was really amped and I was pretty excited. I hardly slept the night before, just adrenaline. I had to remind myself, ‘Hey, you’ve played this game before. Calm down.’ But I was really pumped.”

On his scooter:
“The scooter doesn’t have the battery life to get down here. Maybe one day. That’d be pretty fun, to have a little scooter cruise around town.”
On his Sacramento teammates:
“I know a lot of these guys from Spring Training, most of them. There’s very few that I haven’t gotten to play with, but it’s a great group. There’s a tremendous amount of talent. One of the coolest things about getting to play here is getting to see some of these guys play a little more and to be a teammate with them. A lot of these guys are knocking on the door to come help us and we know that. It gives us a lot of confidence knowing the amount of talent that we have down here. This is an incredibly talented team and a lot of guys that are deserving to play with us. To know how good a team this is and the amount of talent, it’s pretty remarkable to see.”
On the Giants’ slow start to the season:
“You know, that’s baseball. We have a staff and a group that understands that you’re gonna hit those stints, you’re gonna have those things happen. I think we have a unit that just understands the process and how to keep working and keep doing the things that matter and stay the course. You just gotta keep pushing and, no matter what, baseball is going to have ups and downs. You just gotta understand that and keep on pushin’.”

On video games:
“There was definitely a long time where I wasn’t able to do anything but a tablet game. Obviously I had like four weeks in a cast, and then it came out of the cast a little early and I still wasn’t able to do hardly anything. So it wasn’t until just recently that I was able to do anything. They said a moderate amount of playing would be helpful, but I don’t really think after the 8 hour – or however long it felt like I was twisting and turning my wrist – that I needed much more. Played a little bit of Mortal Kombat when it came out, but there’s not really much wrist action in that. Just moving your thumb.”

On the “Hunter Pence” signs Friday night:
“I saw a few. I saw a cute one from a little girl that said ‘Superman wears Hunter Pence underwear’. It’s one I’d seen before, but it’s a nice one. There was a lot of love and definitely I got a lot of attention. I just want to let the fans know I appreciate it and I’m grateful for it.”
On spending time in Triple-A:
“It’s a joy to be here. It’s a joy to play baseball, in general. I think this is a spectacular stadium. The atmosphere is incredible. I’m absolutely enjoying this time.”

Chris Haft

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