Pablo Sandoval is back in San Francisco playing third-base for the Giants. Not everyone is on board with the move, but many view it as a free look at a player who brought many fond memories and success of the organization, and is hungry to prove himself.
In a 2017 season that has already completely fallen apart, giving Sandoval a second look is a no-risk proposition for the Giants. But the organization doesn’t plan on being near the bottom of the league standings for long. Is it possible that Sandoval is the everyday answer at the hot corner for a club that hopes to bounce back in 2018?
“I don’t think you’d rule that out,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Murph & Mac on Monday morning
“If he comes back here, if he gets that confidence back, that sense of comfort of being home, so to speak – where he grew up – and he plays like he used to, sure, I think that is a possibility.”
Sandoval made his return to San Francisco on Saturday. His lead-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning helped kickstart a come-from-behind, 5-4 win over the Diamondbacks.
So far, the return to San Francisco has been a breath of fresh air for Sandoval, who did not come anywhere close to living up to the 5-year, $95 million contract he signed with the Boston Red Sox following the 2014 season.
“I think [Pablo] has found out that it’s not always greener on the other side. With the tough go he had there in Boston, I think he realized how great he had it [in San Francisco], which he did. He was so loved,” Bochy said.
Up-and-coming players like Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones will be given extensive opportunities moving forward. Additionally, Sandoval will have to prove that he can hit left-handed pitching, which he has struggled with over the past few seasons.
Bringing back Sandoval has baffled some. But one thing is clear: If he hopes to be the everyday guy at third moving forward, he’ll have to earn it.
To listen to Bochy’s full interview with Murph & Mac, click below. To listen to the Giants skipper discuss the long term vision with Sandoval, skip ahead to the 1:07 mark.