Flores 'back at square one' after Andrews visit

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After spending 12 days in Alabama undergoing physical therapy with Dr. James Andrews the news on Jesus Flores’ surgically repaired shoulder is … well, inconclusive.
Flores returned to Nationals camp sure that he’ll be healthy enough to play at some point this season, but he’s been ruled out for Opening Day and there’s no official timetable for his return. Or as the injured catcher put it: “As soon as I get 100 percent, I’ll be back.”
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Andrews and his team gave Flores treatment, helped with his rehab, and ran tests to determine if he “had experienced further structural damage since” the September surgery.
They “discovered nothing more alarming than some inflammation.” In fact, according to Flores he was told that the injury “is not a big deal” and “everything is fine now.” All of which sounds good, except Kilgore notes that Flores is now “back at square one” in terms of restarting baseball activities and will need to be cleared medically all over again just to begin throwing. In other words, it’s gonna be a while.
Ivan Rodriguez is the Nationals’ starting catcher, with Wil Nieves backing him up.

The Giants are considering Pablo Sandoval at second base

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Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.

It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.

Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.