Pagan spoke passionately about his desire to play. But the large ice packs encasing both of his knees conveyed the harsh reality of his physical condition. Given the discomfort he has endured, his ability to appear in 98 of San Francisco's first 106 games is somewhat remarkable.
"I want to go out there every day," said Pagan, who's batting .264. "I've been an everyday player, but because of this circumstance, I have to take a couple of days off so I can get the proper rest to go out there and play. If it was under my control, I'd just go out every day and play. I'm always going to play until the wheels fall off."
Pagan, 34, acknowledged that his right knee has nagged him all season. He indicated that this has forced him to measure his efforts occasionally. "Sometimes you have to save your bullets for whenever it's necessary," he said.
Pagan emphasized the importance of not allowing the physical struggle to become a mental one.
"These things ... sometimes project to your mind even though you try to ignore it and just go out there and play," he said. "It does get into your head sometimes."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.