SAN FRANCISCO -- The Panda is on his way back and could be activated within a week's time. But he probably won't be in switch-hitting mode right away.
Pablo Sandoval could start a minor league rehab assignment this weekend for Single-A San Jose and he's expected to need four or five games before he'd join the active roster, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Bochy acknowledged what GM Brian Sabean told CSN Bay Area last week: That Sandoval could hit left-handed only for a time until his hand allows him to bat right-handed. Currently, Sandoval is taking batting practice from the left side and lightly hitting off a tee from the right side.
The switch-hitter had surgery May 4 to remove a fractured hamate bone in his left hand. The injury occurred almost a year to the date he sustained the same fracture in his right hand. Now that both bones have been removed, there's no chance the injury can recur. But because his left hand rests on the knob of the bat when he hits right-handed, it'll take longer for him to swing effectively from that side.
"We might bring him up earlier and protect him," said Bochy, mentioning he could pinch-hit for Sandoval when he faces a left-handed reliever or possibly bat him lefty-on-lefty.
That's something Sandoval did three times late last season, when a sore shoulder prevented him from hitting right-handed. He was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.
"We wouldn't do anything without the doctors signing off," Bochy said.
Sandoval was the team's leading home run hitter and RBI man when he went down. Joaquin Arias, who has held down everyday duties at third base in Sandoval's absence, will be a candidate to get plenty of playing time at second base when the Panda returns.
We have some sad news to report.
Skeeter, the lovable four-legged member of Matt Duffy's family, passed away in Long Beach on Saturday night. He was 15 years old.
Duffy made the news public with an Instagram post on Sunday evening.
"Even when it's expected, losing a member of the family is never easy. Sometimes you'd forget this little guy was even a cat. After 15 awesome years, last night we had to say goodbye to Skeeter boy. Thank you for all the love and support that Skeets has gotten over the past couple of years. Our furry little light has gone dark," Duffy wrote.
Skeeter, slightly overweight for his size, stole the hearts of Giants fans after Duffy made his debut with the Giants in August of 2014.
When Duffy was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays at the 2016 trade deadline, Skeeter remained in California with Duffy's parents.
The Giants are looking to land the biggest fish of them all in a home-run-hitting sea.
San Francisco reportedly proposed a trade offer with the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton. On Sunday, GM Bobby Evans opened up on the possibility of a deal getting done.
"The Marlins made it clear that when you get close to a deal, then they'll approach the player," Evans said on MLB Network Radio. "I don't think they would be talking to us if they didn't think there was a good chance something like that could get approved. But, they haven't given us an answer relative to that yet. Certainly, we're very early in the process."
While reports surfaced Friday of the Giants make an offer to the Marlins, details have not yet become clear. And it sounds like Evans is still looking for an answer as to what Miami's front office is looking for.
"We don't have any indication at this point from the Marlins as to what their expectations are," Evans says.
Complicating matters is Stanton's monster of a contract. Stanton is guaranteed $295 million over the next 10 seasons. His contract includes a full no-trade clause and an opt-out after 2020.
"With a move like that, I think that the process typically when we're dealing with Miami or any other club, a guy with a no-trade, you don't really get any clarity on that until you get closer to a deal," Evans said.
The Giants are trying to turn the clock to 25 years ago in 1992 when in the offseason, Barry Bonds won the National League MVP with the Pirates and then joined the Giants as a free agent. Matters are a bit different as the Giants would acquire Stanton via trade, but the 28-year-old just won the NL MVP after hitting league-leading 59 home runs.