SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Pablo Sandoval is ahead of schedule, saying he began throwing a month before planned.
His wedding, though, was right on time.
He left the December ceremony in Miami at about 9 a.m., he said, when “half” the partiers were still going strong.
The party is still going in San Francisco.
Sandoval reported to spring training Saturday, also one day ahead of schedule, and once more was bouncing around a clubhouse he tends to own.
“I didn’t want to make the same mistake that I made before,” said Sandoval, committing to the Giants one more time.
The 33-year-old said he talked with other teams in free agency, but Gabe Kapler’s visit to Miami in December, when he got lunch with Sandoval, Andrew Suarez, Shaun Anderson and Aramis Garcia, alerted him there would be some interest from the team with which he has spent his happiest seasons.
“[Kapler] made me sure — ‘I want you to come back, I want you to be here,'” Sandoval said.
It was more complicated than that, though: The Giants wanted to see how he was recovering after Tommy John surgery ended his 2019 season with one iconic at-bat, which will go down as his final one with Bruce Bochy but, assuming health, not his official Giants farewell. Sandoval sent videos to the team of his throwing and swinging, and late last month the two sides completed the reunion.
It’s a happy story that should help put fans in seats in a difficult season to sell. Sandoval hopes it’s more than that. He said he hoped to get some spring at-bats eventually and “would love to” be on the roster Opening Day. The possibility becomes more realistic with the 26th man this season, each team being able to carry an extra bat. Sandoval said he’s able to swing from both sides of the plate.
His locker is a few feet from Hunter Pence’s. What year is this?
“I know I got a chance to come back to help young guys now that I know my role, I know what I can do,” Sandoval said. “I got one more chance here.”