SAN FRANCISCO The Giants activated Pablo Sandoval fromthe disabled list prior to the first pitch of Monday nights game against theWashington Nationals, manager Bruce Bochy said.
Sandoval will not start but will be available off the bench.Hes expected to resume his role as the starting third baseman on Tuesday.
The Giants had postponed making Sandovals activationofficial as they weighed a corresponding move. After batting practice, the front office and coaching staff ultimately decided to stay with a 13-man pitching staff and optioned infielder Brett Pill to Triple-A Fresno.
Sandoval came through his test at Single-A San Jose with noissues, and although he acknowledged he hasnt run all-out on his strainedhamstring, he estimated he was at close to 90 percent effort on the basepaths.
Thats good enough, Bochy said.
Thats going to work, Bochy said. And itll get better. Its a huge boost any time you get a guy in the heart of your order. Betweenhis presence and energy, hell help us. Now we have more depth.
Bochy said he would use Marco Scutaro, who had taken overSandovals job as the everyday third baseman after coming over in a trade withthe Rockies, as more of a floating presence to give other infielders rest. Italso allows the Giants to go with the hot hand if second baseman Ryan Theriotscuffles.
Theyre all going to play, Bochy said.
For now, Sandoval will be limited to third base. He only workedat third while on the disabled list (although he didnt get a single groundball in rehab action for Single-A San Jose.) And because he hurt himself July24 as a first baseman while stretching for a throw, the Giants are leery to puthim back at that position anytime soon.
But Bochy said that eventually, he wants to have the optionto put Sandoval at first base.
Until we are certain he is 100 percent, hell concentrateat third base, Bochy said. It doesnt mean he wont play first base. Wellget more into this and hell get comfortable at third, but we would like tokeep that (first base) option open, occasionally.
Sandoval said he is eager to hit in the middle of the lineupfor the first time with Hunter Pence, who was acquired from Philadelphia just afew days after the Panda went on the DL.
Im happy to be back and be a part of this lineup,Sandoval said. Its going to be day-by-day, but I feel better and better.
Sandoval' power will be especially beneficial at home; he owns three of the 19 home runs hit by Giants in 58 games at AT&T Park.