The Braves will select Pablo Sandoval’s contract to the active roster today, manager Brian Snitker told MLB.com’s Mark Bowman and other reporters. Sandoval is slated to play third base in Atlanta’s starting lineup today.
Sandoval inked a minor league deal with the Braves a little under two weeks ago, just four days after the Giants released him. The Panda hit only .220/.278/.268 over 90 plate appearances with San Francisco this season, though as The Athletic’s David O’Brien noted, today’s transaction would seem to imply that Atlanta will put Sandoval on its postseason roster.
Austin Riley has been slowed by a quad injury in recent days, so the Braves could be turning to Sandoval for some additional third base depth beyond Adeiny Hechavarria. Johan Camargo and Charlie Culberson were both available at Atlanta’s alternate training site, though the fact that Sandoval got the nod might be indicative of how far Camargo and Culberson have fallen down the depth chart.
Or, maybe the Braves are simply hoping for some vintage Sandoval postseason magic. Sandoval has a .344/.389/.545 slash line over 167 career playoff PA, all with San Francisco from 2010-14. The Giants’ three postseason appearances in that span resulted in three World Series titles, with Sandoval collecting Series MVP honors in 2012 after hitting three homers in Game One of the 2012 Fall Classic.
It has been a while since Sandoval was that productive, though he did hit .259/.311/.466 in 548 PA for the Giants from 2018-19. The Braves would happily take similar offense in their lineup or coming off the bench in the playoffs as the team looks to capture its first championship since 1995.