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Injury updates: Pence, Bumgarner, Panik, Melancon

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy sounded upbeat about Hunter Pence's overhauled batting stance, which the outfielder hopes will help revive his career when he returns from his Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment.

"The fact is, this is something he really wants," Bochy said Thursday. "That'll make it easier to work out for him."

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy sounded upbeat about Hunter Pence's overhauled batting stance, which the outfielder hopes will help revive his career when he returns from his Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment.

"The fact is, this is something he really wants," Bochy said Thursday. "That'll make it easier to work out for him."

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Pence, who hit .172 in 17 games before going on the disabled list with a sprained right thumb, is said to be standing more upright, holding his hands lower and incorporating a more pronounced front-leg kick. These are the same adjustments that worked for Giants outfielder Mac Williamson and Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

Bochy estimated that Pence will need at least 40 at-bats with his new stance before he feels suitably comfortable with it.

Injury updates
• Bochy reiterated that left-hander Madison Bumgarner likely will make his first injury rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento on May 26 against Albuquerque.

• Second baseman Joe Panik (sprained left thumb) began taking light batting practice by hitting baseballs flipped underhanded to him in a batting cage.

• Right-hander Mark Melancon threw 20 pitches of live batting practice, which will be his final step before going on an injury rehab assignment. Bochy estimated that Melancon's rehab stint will last approximately two weeks and it could begin this weekend, barring any physical setbacks.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Hunter Pence