The Giants made it through spring training — and a run through the World Baseball Classic for many — with on important asset: their health.
The most pressing concern is the health of third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who has been experiencing pain in his right elbow and numbness in his fingers. While the “Kung Fu Panda” did not play in Thursday’s game against the A’s, manager Bruce Bochy said his return could be right around the corner.
“He had a good day [Wednesday],” Bochy said. “He was very excited about the progress he’d made over 24 hours from the day before, so he’s young. It looks like he’s turned a corner and he’s starting to come around. We have to be a little cautious here, but with the progress he made today if all goes well today he could probably get some at-bats tomorrow.”
Bochy said that if Sandoval’s progress is hampered at all, the team is prepared to go without him for a week or so as needed, and could even send him to Arizona to get some at-bats before returning to the Giants.
Sanchez working out the kinks: Backup catcher Hector Sanchez DH’d against the A’s on Thursday and will catch for seven innings today in Arizona. The second-year backstop has experienced pain in his shoulder and must work on refining his throwing technique before joining the club in Los Angeles for the season opener on Monday against the Dodgers.
Ramirez inks minor league deal: Righty reliever Ramon Ramirez officially rejoined the Giants when he signed a minor league deal on Thursday. He will be with the team during the remainder of the preseason and will report to Triple-A Fresno when the season begins.
Noonan knocking on the door: Infielder Nick Noonan has made an impression on Bochy, though the 2007 first-round draft pick has yet to find a spot in the major league roster.
Noonan hit .296 for Fresno last year and .254 in spring training this year. Bochy said all that’s lacking is the right spot for him.
“He can play all over the infield,” Bochy said. “The way he’s played the last part of spring training and the way he’s handled himself, he can’t do any more than what he’s done, it’s just a matter of what our needs are and the role that he will be in.”
No starter set for left field: While Bochy said he had his roster basically set Thursday, he said both Andres Torres and Gregor Blanco will see plenty of time in left field.
“We’ll go matchups, but their play will dictate who plays out there, as always,” he said. “Sometimes it’s going to be a tough call, but it could be a platoon, but not all the time.”