It’s that time of the year again for the San Francisco Giants.
Considering that Pablo Sandoval swing is arguably one of the best in the majors, it’s perhaps a bit of a surprise that the third baseman has been in a bit of a slump lately, unable to to carry his strong .861 OPS start from April with a .664 month of May and dropping his overall numbers to a still-decent .288/.328/.434 triple-slash.
What is more surprising, though, is that he’s gone through all of this while being mostly ailment-free. Well, that was at least until Friday:
Pablo Sandoval has a left foot strain. Had an MRI today and will miss a few games, could be up to a week. #SFGiants
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 31, 2013
Now, not to say that heavy ball players can’t stay healthy, but there’s a difference between Prince Fielder playing first base (and being one of the most durable at his position) and Sandoval manning the hot corner. Though the injuries he’s been through in his career have been of different types, it’s really not too difficult to see why this is a player who has been to the DL three times in the last two seasons.
Fortunately for the Giants, that won’t be required this time around … or at least the team hopes so.
That will ultimately depend on how the foot feels over the next few days, and as we’ve seen in cases of other players around the league (Bryce Harper, Shane Victorino, etc.) who have been trying/tried their best to to otherwise, sometimes the disabled list is just not that easy to dodge, even if they manage to do it the first time.
For those keeping count, that’s one minor elbow issue and a slightly less minor foot injury to add to the 26-year-old’s tally. For now, the Giants will roll with a combination of Nick Noonan (who has struggled in his rookie year) and Joaquin Arias at the hot corner, though I don’t expect that this will be the last time in 2013 that the team will have to deal with being without Panda.