Anyone feeling a little squeamish about the current state of the Philadelphia Phillies' offense may not want to read any further, because another one of the team's best offensive players is dealing with a nagging injury.
Hunter Pence is out of the Phillies' lineup for the first time this season with a sore left shoulder. It was originally believed that Pence, who has played in all 15 of the Phillies' regular season games this year, was simply getting a day off, but that is not the case.
According to numerous reports, Pence suffered the injury making a diving attempt at a ball during a game against the San Diego Padres, with the outfielder refuting a report by his manager, Charlie Manuel, that he had suffered the injury as early as last week when the Phillies were in San Francisco.
Pence told several reporters, including Ryan Lawrence of the Delaware Daily Times, that he is still unaware of the extent of the injury as he has yet to meet with team doctors, though according to Lawrence, he sounded as though he was optimistic that it was not a major injury.
"I felt it after it happened, but I had adrenaline going," said Pence. "I want to do more, but they don't want me to. Hopefully it's not a big deal, but we have to get it checked out first."
Pence's sore left shoulder comes just days after the Phillies placed left-handed starter Cliff Lee on the disabled list with a sore oblique, not because it was a serious injury, but because the Phillies were taking the cautious route, but Pence hopes to avoid joining him on the disabled list.
Though he was mired in an 0-for-15 slump heading into Monday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Pence remains one of the club's biggest offensive threats with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the disabled list.
In Pence's absence, John Mayberry Jr., who is hitting just .175 / .175 / .200 on the season, will get the start in right field.
For news, rumors, analysis and game recaps during spring training, check out Greg's blog: The Phillies Phactor!