SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Third baseman Pablo Sandoval was scratched an hour before Sunday’s exhibition game against Colorado because of right elbow soreness and numbness in his hand. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Sandoval would be reevaluated Monday and was likely to undergo tests on Monday to determine the extent of the injury.
Sandoval said he felt discomfort on a throw that he bounced to second base Saturday; he remained in that game -- and made another strong throw across the diamond, in fact -- but said the soreness remained and got worse when he tried to play catch on Sunday.
The injury also bothered Sandoval when he took left-handed swings but he said "I don't think it's serious."
Still, when asked if he's dealt with anything similar in the past, he said, "Not like this."
Said Bochy: "We think he'll be fine, but there's always some concern any time there's an issue with the arm. ... We'll have to get it checked out."
Joaquin Arias replaced Sandoval in the lineup, batting sixth. Hunter Pence moved from fifth to third.
The Giants entered this spring with high hopes for Sandoval, who has lost chunks of the past two seasons to the disabled list after surgeries to remove fractured hamate bones from both hands. The World Series MVP was working on his conditioning this spring both before and after playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
Bochy acknowledged he didn't have much coverage at third base behind Sandoval, mentioning Wilson Valdez and Kensuke Tanaka as others in camp who could man the position. But unless the Giants go outside the organization, Arias would be the everyday third baseman if Sandoval is forced to miss any length of time. Marco Scutaro filled in ably while Sandoval was on the DL last year, but Bochy said he wanted to keep Scutaro at second base full-time.
Here’s the Giants lineup against the Rockies, with Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum forming the battery.
CF Andres Torres
2B Marco Scutaro
RF Hunter Pence
C Buster Posey
1B Brandon Belt
3B Joaquin Arias
SS Brandon Crawford
LF Gregor Blanco
P Tim Lincecum
Also of note: Ramon Hernandez, whose name reportedly has come up in trade discussions with some clubs, is starting for Colorado. If Hector Sanchez’s shoulder requires him to start on the disabled list and the Giants want more of an experienced backup than Guillermo Quiroz, perhaps they’ll kick the tires on Hernandez. He played for Bochy with the San Diego Padres a few years back.