That collective "whew" you heard from Houston was the Astros' brass breathing a collective sigh of relief. What could have been a disaster for Hunter Pence and Houston (by putting them on track to lose 110 games instead of 100?) has turned out to only be an elbow sprain. He is status is currently described as day to day.
Pence has of course been one of the few bright spots of another otherwise abysmal Houston Astros season. After injuring his left elbow on Friday night sliding into first base, Pence was scratched from Saturday night's game in Los Angeles and instead flew back to Houston for an MRI.
Pence had the procedure done today, and while an elbow sprain is surely a painful injury, it is not expected to keep him on the shelf for any real length of time.
The Astros' team physician delivered more good news:
Dr. Tom Mehlhoff, the Astros' team physician, said Pence has no tears or ligament damage and has an improved range of motion since Saturday.
The short-term worst-case scenario is that he'll miss some or all of the series against the Texas Rangers, which is to begin Monday in Arlington.