Giants

Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — With the Giants eliminated down the stretch last season, Brandon Crawford tried to bring some levity to the final homestand by choosing walk-up songs for teammates for the second time. It turns out Bruce Bochy also had a plan to inject some life into an otherwise meaningless final week. 

Bochy said Saturday that he talked to Pablo Sandoval about playing all nine positions in a game late last season when the Giants were eliminated. The plan is still on the table, although the Giants obviously don’t want to think about it right now. They don’t plan to be out of contention in late September, but Bochy said he still would like to see Sandoval get that shot at some point. 

“I would enjoy that. I know he would,” Bochy said. “He’s a perfect candidate for it.”

Sandoval, a catcher early in his professional career, is the emergency catcher for Bochy this season. Earlier this year, he pitched a scoreless inning of relief against the Dodgers and looked impressive while doing so. Bochy noted that catching is generally the most difficult part of the all-nine-positions gambit, but Sandoval would check that box easily. 

The bigger concern for Bochy is outfield play, although Sandoval carried an outfield glove this spring and insisted he could handle it. Bochy saw Sandoval play the outfield during an overseas tour years ago and disagrees, although it would be a different case for one inning in a meaningless game. 

 

“The outfield is the one I’m most skeptical about, but for an inning, you could see it,” Bochy said. 

The feat — pulled off by Buster Posey at Florida State — is rare in the big leagues. Detroit’s Andrew Romine did it last season, becoming the fifth player in Major League history to play all nine positions in a game. 

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said afterward that he wanted to give Romine a “day in the sun,” and you can bet Bochy would want to do the same if everything lines up. Sandoval has always been one of Bochy’s favorites, and in his return to San Francisco, the Panda has been a model teammate and valuable player on the field. It seems a good bet that Sandoval will win the Willie Mac Award this September. If the Giants are out of the race, that might not be his only big day on the final homestand.