Giants notes: No DL for Sandoval yet, etc.


Giants notes: No DL for Sandoval yet, etc.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants described Pablo Sandoval's strained hamstring as "much improved," and they will not place him on the disabled list Friday.

"He's making improvement like we were hoping," manager Bruce Bochy said. "But you have to do the right thing. That's what it's going to come down to."

Bochy wouldn't rule out Sandoval playing against the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend.

Asked if Sandoval could be available to pinch hit Friday night in a big situation, Bochy responded, "How big? Oh sure I'd be tempted. They may tell me during the game that he's available."

So is the disabled list ruled out?

"That's always a possibility," Bochy said. "You don't want to do that, unless you have to. Right now, we don't think we have to."

It's still not out of the realm of possibilities that Sandoval ends up on the DL, but the Giants were not ready to make that concession as of pregame Friday.

The Giants could activate first baseman Aubrey Huff at any time.

"He's running well," Bochy said. "He looks good. He's at a point where he could be activated."

The coaching staff will watch Huff take batting practice Friday evening, and it's still possible he could be activated prior to Friday's first pitch.

If Huff is activated, the corresponding move is not expected to involve Sandoval. It would likely be Justin Christian who is sent down to Triple-A.

Hector Sanchez caught five innings in Fresno on Thursday, and his sprained left knee responded well.

Sanchez will catch another seven innings for the Triple-A Grizzlies Friday.

He is eligible to be activated on Thursday.

Sanchez, 22, continues to take ground balls at first and could be a factor there when he returns to the Giants.

Former top prospect Andy Marte dies from car accident in Dominican Republic

Former top prospect Andy Marte dies from car accident in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte died early Sunday from a traffic accident in his native Dominican Republic.

Metropolitan traffic authorities say Marte died when the Mercedes Benz he was driving hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.

Marte, a 33-year-old infielder, played for several Major League teams, including Atlanta, Cleveland and Arizona, and was most recently playing in the Korean league.

Marte was playing in the Dominican winter league with the Aguilas Cibaenas team.

"We have awoken this Sunday with this sad news that we have lost a special being," club president Winston Llenas said in a statement about Marte.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the final month of his time with the Giants, it became clear that Santiago Casilla and the team would part ways. On Friday, Casilla confirmed that he never had the opportunity to return. 

On a conference call to announce a two-year deal with the Oakland A’s, Casilla said he “would have been happy to return to the Giants, but I never got an offer from them. I understood.”

Casilla said he had several opportunities to go elsewhere and close, mentioning the Milwaukee Brewers as one interested team. Casilla signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the A’s, who likely won’t need him to pitch in the ninth. The Brewers went on to bring in Neftali Feliz for one year and $5.35 million; he is expected to close. 

“I preferred to return to the Athletics because that’s where my career started,” Casilla said through interpreter Manolo Hernández Douen. “And I’m very excited.”

Casilla spent the first six years of his career with the A’s before crossing the bridge and becoming a key figure in three title runs. In seven seasons in San Francisco, he posted a 2.42 ERA and saved 123 games. Casilla had a 0.92 ERA in the postseason, but he was stripped of a prominent role in the weeks leading up to the 2016 playoffs. 

Casilla, 36, blew nine saves before being pulled from the ninth inning. He appeared just three times in the final 14 regular season games and just once in the playoffs. He did not take the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS, watching as five other relievers teamed up to give back a three-run lead. 

That moment stung Casilla, and it affected Bruce Bochy, too. The Giants struck quickly in December to bring Mark Melancon in as their new closer, but at the Winter Meetings, Bochy said he would welcome Casilla back in a setup role. 

“He’s a great team player (and) teammate,” Bochy said. “(I) certainly wouldn’t rule it out because he still has great stuff. And he had some hiccups there in that closing role, but I would take him anytime.”

As it turned out, that opportunity was never there for Casilla. The Giants didn’t make another move after the big deal with Melancon, and they’ll rely on younger arms to record most of the outs in the seventh and eighth. Casilla said he’s not bitter about the way it all ended. 

“I have left that in the past,” he said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new year. I have left this in the past.”