SAN FRANCISCO -- Ah, the miracle of social media.
It’s how Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner can express pleasure in Pablo Sandoval’s offseason conditioning results, even though he hasn’t seen the Panda in person since the day after the season ended.
“Well, the Instagrams look good,” Groeschner said.
Sandoval wasn’t at the Giants’ media availability on Friday and was excused from attending FanFest so he could continue his program in Venezuela. At least from afar, Sandoval appears to have adhered to it.
“He definitely looks better,” said Groeschner. “Until I see him, I’ll hold my judgment. But he looks good.”
Groeschner also confirmed that Sandoval didn’t sustain any kind of worrisome injury when he limped into first base in a Venezuelan League game last week. The Giants checked in with both Sandoval and the Magallanes trainer after the Panda left Game 3 of the finals series in the eighth inning.
Sandoval is not accompanying Magallanes to the Caribbean Series, by the way.
“It’s evident he’s worked hard,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We don’t have to spend all spring trying to get him where we want him. The focus can be on getting ready for baseball. We’ll be ahead of the game, not like where we were last year.”
Giants GM Brian Sabean reiterated that the club would be open to discussing an extension for Sandoval in the spring. He’d be eligible for free agency, and would be in position to command a large sum in a thin market, after the season.
“I’m not going to retract what I said (at the winter meetings),” Sabean said. “Pablo will get due consideration once we eyeball where he’s at.”