OAKLAND – Pablo Sandoval’s status for Monday’s season opener probably will be a down-to-the-wire decision, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday.
The switch-hitting third baseman, who is nursing a sore right elbow, played catch and was scheduled to take swings before the Bay Bridge Series finale against the A’s. He was not in the lineup, but Bochy’s plan was to get him in the game in some form.
Sandoval served as the designated hitter for Friday’s game but left after two at-bats because the inflamed nerve in his elbow began acting up.
[RECAP: Giants 3, A's 1]
“It won’t be an easy call,” Bochy said. “We’re optimistic that he’s going to make it, but again, we gotta do what’s right big-picture and then make that decision. If we have to use him off the bench these three games (against the Dodgers to open the season), we can do that too. That’s an option.”
Bochy acknowledged the disabled list remains an option for Sandoval, “but it’s the last option.”
The deadline to set the 25-man roster is Sunday at noon. Another decision the Giants face involves backup catcher Hector Sanchez. He’s remained in Arizona to play in minor league games as he recovers from a shoulder injury.
Bochy said Sanchez was playing in a game Saturday morning, and if he came out of that fine, he should be ready for Opening Day and would join the team in Los Angeles. If Sanchez is healthy, that means Cole Gillespie will make the team as a fifth outfielder. Should Sanchez not be ready, the Giants likely would keep Guillermo Quiroz as a third catcher and begin the season with just four outfielders.
Gillespie, a 28-year-old who has 50 career big league games under his belt from his time with the Arizona Diamondbacks, said he’s trying to take his uncertain roster status in stride. He’s happy with the audition time the Giants gave him during Cactus League play.
“I got the opportunity, that’s the main thing I was hoping for,” Gillespie said. “True to their word, they said I was going to get a good look this spring and it held up. That’s pretty much the only thing I can ask for. I feel good with where I’m at right now. It’s been my goal to make this team out of spring, but I can’t worry about stuff I can’t control.”