SAN DIEGO – Pablo Sandoval isn’t in Sunday’s lineup because of a bone bruise on his left elbow. He likely won’t be available off the bench, either.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Sandoval would receive treatment during the game in an effort to get loose enough to return on Monday when the Giants play the first of four Bay Bridge contests with the Oakland A’s.
Sandoval was hit by a pitch he swung at in the first inning of Saturday’s eventual 5-3, 10-inning vicory over the San Diego Padres. He was replaced at third base in the bottom of the inning. (Sandoval saw one more pitch after getting hit, and Brandon Belt was thrown out trying to steal to end the inning. So that’s why Sandoval wasn’t credited with an official plate appearance.)
[RELATED: Sandoval gets X-ray results on injured elbow]
For just the second time all season, Bochy wrote a lineup without Sandoval or Buster Posey. He wants his catcher available for all four games in the home-and-home series with the A’s, and this is a day game after an extra-inning night game. With Brandon Belt back, Bochy said it’s easier to give Posey a full day off rather than try to squeeze his bat in the lineup as the first baseman. But there will continue to be occasional days when Posey starts at first base, Bochy said.
The Giants are going for a series victory and achieving it would make for a festive flight home, especially with the club expected to get multiple players on the All-Star team when rosters are announced later in the day.
Bochy said he spoke with NL manager Mike Matheny last Thursday. Bochy lobbied for his guys, with Michael Morse and Tim Hudson getting the most support. But most of the conversation was about roster strategy, since Bochy has just done this twice in the previous three years.
Call this semi-informed speculation, but Madison Bumgarner should be an obvious choice to make the club. He’s pitching the Sunday before the break and so he’s a free pick. Matheny could name him and replace him. Hudson and Hunter Pence shook some hands in the clubhouse Sunday morning, too, although people could just be in a friendly mood.
Sounds like Posey probably won’t make the club unless he gets there via the player ballot. Matheny told Bochy he would keep three catchers, but Yadier Molina is going to be voted in as the starter, and Jonathan Lucroy and Devin Mesoraco are having solid seasons.