Giants won't rush Pence back from rehab

Giants won't rush Pence back from rehab

SAN FRANCISCO -- According to the stat sheet, it would seem Hunter Pence is right at the doorstep of a return to the San Francisco Giants. In five rehab games with Triple-A Sacramento, Pence is 8-for-16 with two home runs and four RBIs.

But manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday that the right fielder's output at the plate will have no effect on when the club chooses to activate him.

"The legs will determine when he comes up here," said Bochy. "Right now, the trainers think he needs some time."

Pence's numbers are certainly encouraging, though. He's been on the disabled list (hamstring surgery) since June 2, but has already gotten his timing back at the plate, according to the manager.

"Hitting part is going quicker than we thought," said Bochy, who added Pence would not return during the current homestand that ends Sunday.

Second baseman Joe Panik resumed his rehab assignment with Sacramento on Tuesday night and has finally gotten past every hump involving the concussion that landed him on the disabled list June 28. Panik played five innings Tuesday and was scheduled to play seven innings Wednesday.

"He says he feels completely normal now," said Bochy. "I could see Joe being back this weekend."

Ramiro Pena was a late scratch from Wednesday's game. The Giants infielder took a sharply hit grounder to the groin section while playing third base Tuesday night, which forced him to leave the game. He was initially scheduled to play second Wednesday, but was replaced by Grant Green after still feeling pain in the area.

• Bochy was asked Wednesday if he's talked to any of his relievers about the myriad trade rumors during this time of the season.

"I don't think I've had to," Bochy responded. "If I felt like I had to, I would. It's part of the game, dealing with the trade rumors. I don't think about what we may have or what we may lose. I haven't talked to any of our guys."

Justin Wise is a reporter for based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.