Sandoval, Uribe to man infield corners? Possibly
LOS ANGELES — Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated Saturday that he soon could employ a lineup featuring Pablo Sandoval at first base and Juan Uribe at third base.
The odd man out would be Travis Ishikawa, who started 20 of San Francisco’s first 29 games at first base. But Ishikawa entered Saturday batting .191 and was hitless in his last 16 at-bats.
By contrast, Sandoval, who rested Saturday after catching the previous evening, was hitting .298. And Uribe, who started his second consecutive game at third base and third game in a row overall, had hiked his average to .289 after collecting two hits in three of his previous five games.
Asked if a Sandoval-Uribe tandem were possible, Bochy replied, “Yes, it’s something we can do. It is an option. It’s something we have talked about.”
Bochy observed that Sandoval, the regular third baseman whose skill set includes playing first base and catching, would need virtually no preparation to play a game at first base, due to his excellent ability to adjust.
San Francisco’s offensive struggles might force Bochy to make this move sooner than later. They certainly explain Uribe’s increased presence.
“That’s why I’ve tried to get him a little more in the mix,” Bochy said. “He gives an added pop in the lineup when he’s in there.”
Bochy has not given up on Ishikawa, though he said somewhat ominously that he hasn’t determined how much longer the Giants will continue to give the 25-year-old rookie opportunities to recover his offensive equilibrium. For the immediate future, Bochy said that he might prolong Ishikawa’s mental break by resting him on Sunday
“Travis has had his games where he throws out good at-bats and he’s had his games where he’s struggled,” Bochy said. “He’s battling his confidence a little bit.”
– Chris Haft