May 7, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Pablo Sandoval could begin rehab assignment


San Francisco Giants star third baseman Pablo Sandoval might be able to begin his rehab assignment this weekend at High-A San Jose, per Andrew Baggarly. Giants manager Bruce Bochy believes that his rehab assignment will likely last four or five games before Sandoval is ready to rejoin the Major League club. This means that he could be able to resume playing next weekend if there are no setbacks.

Pablo Sandoval’s initial time table for a return was between four and six weeks. He has been out for about four weeks now if his hand feels better and no setbacks occur for the 3B.

He was given an extension in the offseason that was team-friendly after bringing his weight down and managing to be worth a terrific 5.5 WAR in 2011. It was visible that the weight changes had a huge impact, as Sandoval looked great in the field for the first time in his career. He had a 142 wRC+ last season with good power and kept his batting average as high as usual.

Arguably the Giants best hitter, Sandoval is projected to be worth 5-5.5 WAR this season, as he is one of the elite players in the game and showed it last season. Having him back would be huge for the Giants, who are currently second in the division at 28-24. Melky Cabrera has been a machine this season and the Jonathan Sanchez trade couldn’t have worked better for them (they were viewed as winners at the time as well), and he could very well notch 200 hits.

In 104 plate appearances this year, Pablo Sandoval has had a 148 wRC+ and continued his impeccable 2011 form. He has been their second best hitter this season, and it will be great for the Giants to have him back with Buster Posey and Angel Pagan also hitting well in the team’s line-up. Sandoval makes this team significantly better with his offensive ability and much-improved defense.

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Tags: Angel Pagan Bruce Bochy Buster Posey Jonathan Sanchez Melky Cabrera Pablo Sandoval San Francisco Giants