The Giants have activated third baseman Pablo Sandoval from the 10-day injured list, according to Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group. While the fan favorite will still undergo Tommy John surgery per doctors’ recommendation, activating Sandoval should offer him a final chance to end his Giants tenure (and his time under manager Bruce Bochy) by his own accord, likely receiving a final at-bat as a left-handed pinch-hitter.
While the move is essentially symbolic, it’s nonetheless surprising given that many had written off a potential swan song for the long-time Giants third baseman. Don’t expect Sandoval to contribute in a meaningful way, though Giants fans certainly won’t be opposed to giving him a proper send-off.
Sandoval ingratiated himself to the San Francisco faithful during the organization’s dynamic run of success from 2008-2014, a luxury that he didn’t share during his time in Boston, after a big-money contract backfired on the team. That culminated in his release in 2017, at which point he rejoined the club with which he signed as an amateur more than a decade ago. While there was no doubt that Sandoval was not the same in his second Giants tenure, he’s reversed his fortunes this year to regain the admiration of Giants fans. On a minimum salary for San Francisco, he’s posted a .823 OPS, his highest mark since 2012.
If the Kung Fu Panda does make his way into a September game at Oracle Park, it may be the last time he does so in his career. The 33-year-old is slated to reach free agency following the season, though the veteran may be resistant to a departure from San Francisco after his last attempt. Given that loyalty to the Giants and the immense pain that Sandoval has described, it would seem that retirement is not out of the question for Sandoval, though there has been no indication that he’s leaning that way.