Pablo Sandoval could be cleared to rejoin Giants on Sunday

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Good news here for the Giants, who are clinging to a half-game advantage in the National League West.

From CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly comes word that Pablo Sandoval is tentatively scheduled to play in minor league rehab games Friday and Saturday at High-A San Jose and could be activated from the 15-day disabled list as early as Sunday.

Sandoval has been on the shelf since July 25 with a hamstring strain that he sustained while stretching for a thrown ball at first base. He ran in the outfield Tuesday afternoon at Busch Stadium in St. Louis and has a similar workout planned for Wednesday.

“Kung Fu Panda” was batting .299/.352/.491 with eight homers and 33 RBI in 62 games played this season.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.