According to Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse, Pablo Sandoval will be the Giants’ designated hitter for Game 3 against right-hander Colby Lewis tomorrow night.
Juan Uribe started at third base for the first two games of the World Series with left-handed starters on the mound for the Rangers. Sandoval has just 14 at-bats during the entire postseason.
There has been a lot of debate on this topic during the week — mostly due to a lack of quality options — but it looks like Bruce Bochy is going for upside on offense. He reportedly gave consideration to using Aubrey Huff at DH and playing Travis Ishikawa at first base.
Keep in mind, for all of Sandoval’s struggles this season, he still managed to hit .282 with 12 of his 13 homers and a 779 OPS from the left side of the plate. Of course, he also hit just .208 with a 565 OPS away from AT&T Park. Bochy is undoubtedly hoping the former shows up tomorrow night.
Just because Sandoval will be the DH in Game 3 doesn’t mean he’ll be there in Game 4 or Game 5, if necessary. If or when Cliff Lee pitches again, look for Bochy to add another right-handed bat to his lineup — likely Aaron Rowand — pushing Pat Burrell to the DH spot.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.