The Panda is back. Well, kind of: Bruce Bochy told reporters that Pablo Sandoval was activated for Monday night's game against the Nationals, but that he wouldn't start.
Sandoval will be available off the bench, according to Bochy, and he will make a start on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
"We don't want him to go 100 percent, but he's real close to it," Bochy said when asked about Panda's ability to max out running the bases. "I think he put it at 90 percent."
It's expected that Sandoval, who's been missing since late July with a hamstring injury, will play third base going forward, but will also end up playing some third base. Sandoval said he's feeling great following his stint on the disabled list.
“I’ve had no problems,” Sandoval said. “I’ve done everything. I’m ready for everything.”
Though the Giants do need to end up making a corresponding move, they apparently haven't decided what they're going to do yet. Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that the team is debating about whether or not it wants to move a pitcher or a hitter.
"Corresponding move [is] not a trade, I'm told," Baggarly tweeted. "Club deciding whether to stay at 13 pitchers or not."
Sandoval's bat has been sorely missed in the lineup, particularly at home. Panda has hit better at AT&T Park this season than he has on the road, and that's not something you can say for many Giants.
With his return, the Giants suddenly have a pretty potent middle of the order, with Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey, Sandoval and Hunter Pence representing a tough stretch for opposing pitchers.