The Giants are in wait-and-see mode with Pablo Sandoval.
The valuable corner infielder/pinch-hitter was placed on the injured list Wednesday with right elbow inflammation, shutting him down after bone chips made it too painful for Sandoval to throw or swing from the right side.
Replacing him on the 25-man roster is Alex Dickerson, who DH’d in a rehab game at Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday. Dickerson was out of the lineup in Wednesday’s homestand finale against the A’s, but should rejoin the action in Arizona, likely Friday. The Giants have missed Dickerson, whose oblique had sidelined him since July 30.
And they will miss Sandoval, who had an MRI and cortisone shot Sunday. He said he feels “beat up.”
“I won’t help anybody like that,” Sandoval said about trying to play through his barking elbow. “I just want to be straight-up with the training staff. I would love to help the team coming off the bench. … It’s frustrating. At the same time, you have to take care of yourself to get ready for September.”
Bruce Bochy acknowledged the possibility that Sandoval could return as a pinch-hit bat from the left side and a first baseman, easing the throws he would have to make. Sometimes bone chips are rested and sometimes they are operated on, and Sandoval didn’t know which would be best for him yet.
The 33-year-old said he’s been dealing with the issue since 2013, when he missed three weeks of spring training and yet was ready for Opening Day. But a recent at-bat from the right side triggered the elbow pain, and Sandoval has worn a heavy set of ice on that elbow after many games recently. He hadn’t started since Aug. 5.
“This has flared up on him before, but not quite like this,” Bochy said at Oracle Park. “Sometimes they go away in two, three days, sometimes they linger.”
As one bat leaves, a crucial one returns. Bochy said Dickerson, who walked once in four plate appearances Tuesday, would be available off the bench in his first couple games back. Dickerson has ignited the Giants’ offense since coming aboard, slashing .386/.449/.773 in 30 games.