Yet another setback for Freddy Sanchez; better news on Sandoval


Yet another setback for Freddy Sanchez; better news on Sandoval

MIAMI Freddy Sanchez has descended to a new level oflimbo.

The oft-injured second baseman keeps encountering setbacksas he tries to restart his career. The latest was a second epidural in hislower back that was administered last week, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Sanchez is approaching the one-year anniversary of hisinjury June 8, when he dislocated his shoulder while diving for a ground ball.He underwent surgery in August to stabilize and tighten the capsule, a surgerythat has been known to end infielders careers.

Sanchez already was having trouble making throws across hisbody from second base; he had convinced club officials to let him try making acomeback at third base when he started having lower back issues in Arizona.

Were not giving up on it, Bochy said. But its obviouslya setback. We cant tell you when hell be back on the field.

The Giants have spackled together second base with EmmanuelBurriss (25 starts), Ryan Theriot (15), Charlie Culberson (5) and Joaquin Arias(2). They have combined for an unconscionably bad .215 slugging percentage at the position the lowestamong all 30 major league clubs.

At least Bochy will have another option when Pablo Sandovalreturns in another two weeks or so. The manager had better news on Sandoval,saying he has made steady progress over the last few days at extended springcamp in Arizona and should be ready to start taking batting practice next week.Sandoval is three weeks and two days removed from surgery to remove a fracturedhamate bone in his left hand.

When Sandoval returns, Bochy will have the option to moveArias from third base to second.

Whoevers swinging the bat better will be out there, Bochysaid. Ill say that.

Theriot will get a chance to prove himself as well, now that his elbow is improved. He said he hasn't shown the kind of player he's capable of being.

As for the lineup in general, Bochy agreed that players might begetting more settled as he runs out the same 1-through-5 group every day. Itsa lineup that will lengthen out and add power when Sandoval returns; Bochyexpects to hit Sandoval in the middle of the order, but he could drop him downto sixth when he hits right-handed.

Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate


Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate

SACRAMENTO -- A young man named Clayton Blackburn walked into the home clubhouse at Raley Field on Tuesday decked out in Round Rock gear. 

"You're here for my start?" he said, smiling.

Sorry, Clayton, I was on Panda Watch for two days. But it was fun watching Blackburn, DFA’d in a weird move earlier this year, face former teammates. Blackburn hasn't had a great season with Texas, but he is still just 24 and he has gotten into terrific shape. Given what happened during his call-up last year, you should root for him to get a second chance. 

Blackburn gave up three runs over six innings against his former team. The River Cats won on Jarrett Parker’s walk-off homer to dead center with two outs in the ninth. Parker was one of many familiar faces in the lineup Tuesday. Here are some thoughts on guys you know, and guys you will: 

--- Trevor Brown is the backup catcher in Sacramento, which is certainly a fall from his run as Buster Posey's backup. Brown is batting .168 in what has been a very frustrating season for him. The groin injury that slowed him early lingered, he had a concussion, and he hasn't been able to find any BABIP luck. This year seems a lost one for a guy who was a big part of 2016. I’m still intrigued by his versatility.

--- Chris Shaw is the latest podcast guest. You can stream it here. We talked about his power, his move to left, thinking he was a Ray, and more. I didn't see many at-bats, but I saw enough in left field to be confident he'll be fine out there. 

--- Parker started in center field and made a nice running catch at the wall. He wouldn't hold up as a big league center fielder, but perhaps the Giants should throw him out there a few times down the stretch to see if he can be a backup option next season. Parker said he finally found his swing over the past few games. His rehab assignment ends in about a week, and he’s expected back in San Francisco. 

--- Reyes Moronta, who spent a day in the majors in May, was promoted to Triple-A. In his first inning, Drew Stubbs took him deep. I found that quirky. It's been a long season with far too many transactions. 

--- If Steven Duggar would stay healthy, he would probably make it up to SF in September. Unfortunately, his hamstring was tight again this week, keeping him out of San Jose’s lineup for a few days. Speaking of health: Tyler Beede’s groin injury will keep him out longer than just the standard DL time … Melvin Upton Jr. is still in Sacramento rehabbing a shoulder injury, but he’s not throwing yet so it’s hard to picture him making any noise before September call-up time …Christian Arroyo is in Arizona rehabbing from hand surgery. 

--- Derek Law was smiling because Derek Law is always smiling. He has a 4.32 ERA but said he feels much better than those results. “My slider is back,” Law said. He should be, too, when the Giants expand their roster. There are some other interesting relievers in Sacramento. A first baseman told me opposing hitters grumble about facing D.J. Snelten (1.84 ERA) and Tyler Rogers has a 1.94 ERA as a dirt-scraping right-hander. 

--- A teammate predicted Carlos Moncrief would hit .270 in the big leagues if called up, and he ended up getting that call Wednesday morning. Moncrief is a fun clubhouse addition. He gave Sandoval some good-natured heckling for talking to reporters after going 1 for 4. 

--- The Giants have had a lot of veterans visit San Jose this season. They all bought the postgame spread, but word around the block is that Madison Bumgarner provided the best meal. He had steak and lobster delivered to San Jose Muni. 

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Eduardo Nuñez left San Francisco in a strange way. The third baseman was traded in the middle of Tuesday night’s game and mostly said his goodbyes in a stairwell behind the home dugout at AT&T Park. Before joining the Red Sox, Nuñez took to his social media pages to send a message to the Giants and their fans. 

On Twitter, Nuñez thanked the organization for “the great opportunity and experiences learned” and wished the team the best of luck. His Instagram message was a bit longer. 

“I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing team,” Nuñez wrote. “I value the experiences learned during my time here and I will miss my teammates, the fans, and the beautiful city of San Francisco very much. Best wishes to the Giants organization during the rest of this season. God Bless.”

Nuñez is expected to join the Red Sox on Friday. Boston’s manager, John Farrell, told reporters that his new infielder will get “a high number of at-bats” despite the presence of top prospect Rafael Devers. 

"This is someone who's swinging the bat very well right now,” Farrell said, according to "A high energy player that can run the bases well. He’s got really good line drive power so his .300-plus batting average to mix into this lineup is a good addition."