Could Panda's Return End Miggy's Run? - NBC Bay Area

Could Panda's Return End Miggy's Run?



    Pablo Sandoval is getting healthy -- on Tuesday the third baseman hit a home run in a rehab game -- and is apparently on target to get back with the Giants "in the near future."

    How near that is remains to be determined, but Sandoval is headed to Triple-A Fresno for a game on Thursday and said that he's still dealing with some soreness in his right hand when he swings from the left side of the plate.

    “Every move you do with your hands, it’s going to be sore,” Sandoval said.

    But his goal right now, per Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury-News, is to be activated Tuesday.

    And that's exciting, because Sandoval's about the only hope Giants fans can have for a truly potent offensive weapon over the rest of 2011.

    Fans should also be excited, because it could mean the end of the Miguel Tejada experiment -- on Wednesday, Bruce Bochy acknowledged that Brandon Crawford might keep seeing plenty of time on the field when Panda returns from injury.

    "I'll say this -- he'll be out there often," Bochy said.

    But, hey, don't try and discourage Miggy -- he's convinced, somehow, that he's just fine.

    "I don't worry about what happened the last month or two months," Tejada said. "I go day by day. What happened is done. I get frustrated when we lose. I don't worry about what I hit.

    "I'm happy to be on a winning team."

    Actually, the interesting thing about Miggy's statement, to me, isn't so much that he knows that he's basically becoming a $6.5 million reserve -- which he is -- but that he's willing to at least try and become the 2011 version of Edgar Renteria.

    That might be a reach, since Renteria's resume includes actually helping the Giants win the World Series.

    But if you look at the narrative of last year (and let's be honest, narratives are so not-hot right now, they're going to be hot again soon) and realize that the Giants thrive when seemingly finished veterans rise up to perform on the big stage, then maybe Miggy's not in such a terrible place.

    Ideally, Crawford just becomes "the guy" and Tejada's just "a mistake."

    But the odds of that actually happening -- at least with this franchise -- seem pretty low.