Monday, March 25, 2013
Update on Panda's status
By Jason Catania
The San Francisco Giants are still confident –- at least publicly –- that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will be available for the April 1 opener against the Dodgers despite an elbow issue.
That outlook, though, might have taken a turn for the worse after Sandoval had to be shut down due to discomfort in his elbow Saturday while trying to play catch, reports CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly.
Baggarly followed up with a tweet that said tests revealed "no new unexpected findings" and that Sandoval will rest and get treatment for a few more days.
Sandoval’s diagnosis is ulnar neuritis, an inflammation of the nerve that runs through the elbow, and the World Series MVP is also dealing with a bone spur in the back of his elbow.
While manager Bruce Bochy said that surgery "has not been discussed at all" and he's not yet willing to state that Sandoval will begin the season on the DL, the latter is looking more and more likely.
Because Sandoval played winter ball -- he was also MVP of the Venezuelan Winter League championship series -- before also suiting up for Venezuela in the WBC and playing in Cactus League games earlier in the spring, he is not expected to need that many at-bats to be ready. He will, though, need to be able to throw a baseball.
If the injury lingers, the Giants would likely insert Joaquin Arias, a .273 hitter over parts of five major league seasons, at third base. Bochy would then fill Sandoval's typical spot in the order -- the three-hole -- by moving either Buster Posey or Hunter Pence.