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.