Pablo Sandoval’s redemption story is temporarily on hold.
Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Pablo Sandoval has a fractured hamate bone in his hand. The report has been confirmed by Buster Olney of ESPN.com. The injury typically requires surgery and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that Sandoval will likely be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.
Sandoval worked his butt off to lose nearly 40 pounds during the offseason and it looks like the hard work paid off, as he was batting .313/.374/.530 with five homers and 14 RBI over his first 91 plate appearances this season. While this isn’t a season-ending injury, it will be interesting to see whether his power suffers upon his return.
While the injury is a tough blow, Giants trainer Dave Groeschner told the Associated Press that Sandoval plans to use the time off to get in even better shape.
“The one positive he’s trying to take out of it is that he still wants to lose a few more pounds. And he’s like, ‘That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to work out.’ He can work out his legs. He can still run,” Groeschner said. “He’s motivated to do that. So this is an opportunity to work on that part. He’s going to have plenty of time, so that’s what we’re going to push.”
If today’s lineup is any indication, the Giants will likely move ahead with Miguel Tejada at third base and Mike Fontenot at shortstop. Emmanuel Burriss, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno earlier this week, will likely share time with Fontenot.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.