Pablo Sandoval’s season officially came to an end, as the Giants announced that infielder underwent both Tommy John surgery and a more minor arthroscopic procedure yesterday to remove loose bodies from his right elbow. Given the usual TJ recovery period for position players, Sandoval won’t be ready for the start of the 2020 season, though exactly how much time he’ll miss isn’t yet known.
Though Sandoval went on the injured list in mid-August and the Tommy John diagnosis has been known for a couple of weeks now, the Giants activated him on September 1 so the longtime fan favorite could get one final at-bat in front of the Oracle Park faithful. It’s quite possible this could end up as the final appearance for Sandoval in the orange-and-black, though given that his injury recovery will certainly limit his free agent options, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Sandoval re-sign with San Francisco sometime next year, once he has a clearer idea of when he’ll be back in action.
There’s certainly evidence that the 33-year-old can still be a productive player, as Sandoval is finishing up his best season in years. The Kung Fu Panda hit .268/.313/.507 with 14 homers over 296 plate appearances, good for a 109 wRC+ that marks Sandoval’s first season of above-average run production since 2014. He also capably handled spot duty at both corner infield spots, and even contributed a scoreless inning on the mound.