SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Pablo Sandoval hopped off a plane and right into the Giants lineup.
Sandoval, who returned to Giants camp following Venezuela’s elimination from the World Baseball Classic in Puerto Rico, went into Bruce Bochy’s office and told his manager that he wanted to play.
He’s batting third and playing third base behind Tim Lincecum in Tuesday night’s game, which is televised on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
“I didn’t have him in the lineup but he came in and said he really wanted to play,” Bochy said. “I had no reason not to play him.”
Bochy wouldn’t provide an assessment of Sandoval’s conditioning, but he reiterated that playing time will be used as a motivating tool to keep him below a certain number on the scale. Last year, Bochy used Joaquin Arias as a late-inning defensive replacement until Sandoval was able to slim down.
Bochy said he would wait to assess Sandoval’s performance before setting any goals for the World Series MVP.
As for Sandoval’s Venezuela teammate, Marco Scutaro, Bochy said he spoke with him and told him not to rush to the ballpark Tuesday. Scutaro will take part in Wednesday’s activities.
In other news, Bochy said he’d be happy if Lincecum, making just his second exhibition start, can ramp up to 45 pitches. Anything in the 35-45 pitch range would be acceptable, the manager said. Lincecum had been set back by a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
Here’s the Giants’ lineup against the Padres:
Infielder Tony Abreu (knee) and outfielder Andres Torres (oblique) came out of Monday’s game with no major issues and will play again Wednesday, Bochy said.
Left-hander Jose Mijares is returning to Venezuela to take care of a personal issue and will return Friday, Bochy said. Mijares (elbow impingement) threw off flat ground Monday.
Bochy was asked what he thinks about the Dodger-Giant rivalry from a Dodgers fan’s perspective.
“I couldn’t tell you,” Bochy said. “I don’t talk to them. Try not to, anyway.”