SAN FRANCISCO -- The Panda is on his way back and could be activated within a week's time. But he probably won't be in switch-hitting mode right away.
Pablo Sandoval could start a minor league rehab assignment this weekend for Single-A San Jose and he's expected to need four or five games before he'd join the active roster, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Bochy acknowledged what GM Brian Sabean told CSN Bay Area last week: That Sandoval could hit left-handed only for a time until his hand allows him to bat right-handed. Currently, Sandoval is taking batting practice from the left side and lightly hitting off a tee from the right side.
The switch-hitter had surgery May 4 to remove a fractured hamate bone in his left hand. The injury occurred almost a year to the date he sustained the same fracture in his right hand. Now that both bones have been removed, there's no chance the injury can recur. But because his left hand rests on the knob of the bat when he hits right-handed, it'll take longer for him to swing effectively from that side.
"We might bring him up earlier and protect him," said Bochy, mentioning he could pinch-hit for Sandoval when he faces a left-handed reliever or possibly bat him lefty-on-lefty.
That's something Sandoval did three times late last season, when a sore shoulder prevented him from hitting right-handed. He was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.
"We wouldn't do anything without the doctors signing off," Bochy said.
Sandoval was the team's leading home run hitter and RBI man when he went down. Joaquin Arias, who has held down everyday duties at third base in Sandoval's absence, will be a candidate to get plenty of playing time at second base when the Panda returns.
Barry Bonds stepped into Giants' broadcast booth with Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow during the top of the third inning Sunday and Kuiper immediately brought up the shape Bonds is in at 52 years old.
"Still think you can play, probably?" Kuiper asked Bonds.
After giving Kuiper the look, Bonds replied, "About an inning or two."
Moments later, the cameras moved to McCovey Cove past the right field wall at AT&T Park where Bonds famously hit home runs deep into the water. Of the 73 Splash Hits off Giants bats into the cove, Bonds is responsible for 35 of them.
Now an avid cyclist who still picks up a bat from time to time, Bonds is fully confident that number would rise if he stepped into the batter's box again.
"I promise you I will," Bonds replied when Krukow asked if he could still hit home runs into the water. "Without a doubt."
Krukow predicted Bonds would need 10 swings to get it done. Bonds says he might need just a few more.
"Well it would take me eight swings to get warmed up, three pop ups and then I'd get it," he said with a laugh.
During spring training this year, Bonds joined the Giants as a special instructor. And he proved his claim of more Splash Hits could certainly be true as he showed off his legendary swing and cracked balls over the wall in Scottsdale.
Bonds hit his final home run of his career, No. 762, on Sept. 5, 2007 on the road against the Rockies in a 5-3 Giants win. The Giants are adding Bonds to their Wall of Fame on July 8.
When you have the second worst record in the National League, you'll try anything, right?
It appears the Giants are looking for some of the same magic Klay Thompson and the Warriors received during their run to the 2017 NBA title.
Prior to Sunday's game against the Mets, Giants manager Bruce Bochy and shortstop Brandon Crawford signed a fan's toaster.
The legend of the toaster is well-documented for the Warriors now.
In March, Warriors fan Ronnie Reyes had Thompson autograph a toaster at a signing event. Thompson looked a little puzzled after he autographed the appliance. But from that moment, the Warriors went 31-2 en route to the NBA championship. The only losses came on April 10 when Thompson did not play against the Jazz and Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Cavs. They were 30-0 with Thompson in the lineup until losing to Cleveland.
So mark June 25 down on the calendar. If they Giants turn things around, you may have to credit this autographed toaster.