Hunter Pence, veteran outfielder in the Texas Rangers camp this spring on a minor league deal, will miss today’s workout, per the beat guys on Twitter. Pence has a sore right shoulder, which they are saying is minor and is likely to just sideline him for a day or two.
This isn’t a huge deal, and of course, there’s plenty of time before Opening Day, but it is an inauspicious start of the spring for Pence, who dealt with a sprained thumb last season that bothered him for most of the season. At 36, Pence is at an age for a professional athlete where one’s body can betray, and this is a subtle reminder that Father Time is undefeated.
Pence is vying for a spot on the Rangers’ bench as a righthanded hitting corner outfielder, and if he can rebound from a pair of sub-par offensive seasons, he could potentially have some value for the 2019 Texas Rangers. Pence had a 590 OPS in 2018, though, and a 701 OPS in 2017, and he’s sort-of kind-of maybe battling for a roster spot with Willie Calhoun, who has earned kudos for his offseason work, and who, I suspect, the Rangers would like to see in the majors this year, so Pence has his work cut out for him.