Programming note: Diamondbacks-Giants coverage starts today at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Giants Pregame Live (Channel locations)
SAN FRANCISCO – Pablo Sandoval’s contract might be on his mind in recent days, as his agents and the Giants reopened talks only for the club to shut them down again.
But Giants manager Bruce Bochy can’t say for certain that his third baseman is distracted at the plate.
Sandoval is hitting just .161 but Bochy sees a balanced and focused hitter who is suffering from some hard luck through the first eight games.
“I like his approach now,” Bochy said. “He’s seeing pitches. He’s staying disciplined. He should have better numbers, with all the (hard) outs he’s made.”
Bochy is exactly right. Try not to faint and smack your head on your coffee table, but Sandoval actually leads the Giants with 4.33 pitches per plate appearance. That’s nearly a full pitch higher than his career ratio.
Sandoval also has struck out seven times against five walks in eight games. Last year, he had five walks in his first 28 games.
“He’s swinging better than the .160 or whatever he’s hitting,” Bochy said.
There was very little other compelling pregame news. Bochy did get an update, if you could call it that, from head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner on Marco Scutaro. The second baseman began swinging a bat again but still feels discomfort in his back. He’s still in a holding pattern back at the club’s spring complex in Arizona.