Update: Zito was experiencing soreness in his neck and upper body as a result of the accident and was scheduled to have an MRI on Thursday morning, Giants spokesman Jim Moorehead said.
Barry Zito was taken to the hospital and later released after sustaining injuries in a two-car accident in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman reports.
The early word is that Zito, who is scheduled to make his regular-season debut Sunday, didn’t appear to be seriously hurt.
Lt. Ana Brackpool said officers are investigating the accident and that Zito is listed on the report as a “party to” the accident, which means that the officers did not deem him to be at fault.
With Jeff Suppan having been released, the Giants are dangerously short of starting pitching depth should they lose a hurler. Ryan Vogelsong would likely be the choice to step in if Zito requires a stay on the disabled list.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.