UPDATE: Hunter Pence out 6-8 weeks with fracture in left forearm

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UPDATE: Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com brings word that X-rays confirmed a non-displaced fracture in the forearm. Pence will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, which means that he’ll likely miss the first month of the season.

Losing Pence obviously hurts, but the Giants should be able to get by with their in-house options. Angel Pagan and Nori Aoki will hold down two outfield spots while some combination of Gregor Blanco, Justin Maxwell, Travis Ishikawa, and Juan Perez can fill in.

6:22 p.m. ET: According to Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com, the Giants believe that Pence suffered a broken left forearm. Not good. We should have a better idea about a timetable after X-rays are completed.

6:09 p.m. ET: Some concerning news here for the defending World Series champion Giants…

According to Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com, outfielder Hunter Pence is headed for X-rays after he was hit in the hand by a pitch during today’s Cactus League game against the Cubs. Nothing is official yet, but Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that there “seems to be some pessimism” regarding the situation. Uh oh.

Pence has long been regarded as one of the game’s most durable players. He has appeared in all 162 games in back-to-back seasons and has played in at least 154 games dating back to 2008.

Pence, who turns 32 in April, batted .277/.332/.445 with 20 home runs, 74 RBI, and 13 stolen bases last season.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.