The Giants have announced that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will undergo Tommy John surgery, effectively ending his season and clouding his availability for 2020. Maria I. Guardado of MLB.com further elucidates that Sandoval was evaluated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Wednesday, who recommended surgery on the injured right elbow of the San Francisco fan favorite (link) The surgery will take place in the first week of September.
Sandoval was placed on the injured list on Aug. 14 with what was believed to be bone chips in his right elbow. Apparently, a further look from Dr. ElAttrache revealed the need for reconstruction of his UCL. This is certainly a most inauspicious end to the five-year, $95MM contract that Sandoval signed in 2015 with the Red Sox, although perhaps this news should be used as a chance to recognize Sandoval’s late resurgence with San Francisco, rather than another opportunity to rehash his tabloid-magnified struggles with Boston from 2015-2017.
While “Kung Fu Panda” was indeed one of the worst players in the bigs over that span, with -2.2 WAR amassed between ’15 and ’17, 2019 has offered the big-bodied third baseman an opportunity to provide at least passable production for the club that originally brought him to fame. His .269/.314/.509 (109 wRC+) line, buttressed by 14 home runs and a personal-best .240 ISO in 295 trips to the plate, earned him consistent looks in manager Bruce Bochy’s lineup this year, as San Francisco fans were treated to what will likely be their last look at the World Series-winning alignment of Bochy, Madison Bumgarner, Sandoval, Joe Panik, and others.