SAN FRANCISCO -- It's been three weeks since Pablo Sandoval last appeared in a game, and he's less than a week away from Tommy John surgery. But the Giants have not officially ruled Sandoval out for the season.
Sandoval took swings in the cage on Friday and spent some time discussing his situation with manager Bruce Bochy, who later told reporters that Sandoval could be activated at some point after rosters expand Sunday.
If Sandoval is to return for an at-bat before surgery, it would have to be Sunday. He's not traveling with the team to St. Louis and will fly to Los Angeles on Tuesday to prepare for the next day's surgery.
"(He'll) test it out and see how it feels," Bochy said of Sandoval's swing. "If he feels comfortable enough, we'll increase his swings. If we have a spot and it works out, we'd love to have him off the bench, but we've got to make sure he's ready."
Sandoval cannot swing right-handed or throw, but he has no serious issues swinging left-handed. The Giants do not feel they'll have a 40-man crunch on Sunday when rosters expand and Sandoval could give them one more lefty at-bat off the bench if there's a big spot in the finale against the Padres. Or, he could simply get one last moment on the field in front of the home crowd before hitting free agency.
The latter seems to be the main motivation. The Giants are 7 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot and one at-bat from their best pinch-hitter won't swing their chances.
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Sandoval is set to take additional swings Saturday.
"I'll watch him swing tomorrow and then we'll make a call," Bochy said.