The Giants nearly lost their second catcher of the week during last night’s game against the Brewers.
Prince Fielder attempted to score on a single by Jonathan Lucroy in the bottom of the eighth inning and leaned into Eli Whiteside once it was obvious he was going to be a dead duck at home plate. However, Whiteside came away unscathed after pushing his arms out at Fielder to record the final out of the inning.
As Whiteside told Joe DiGiovanni of MLB.com, he tried to prepare himself for the worst.
“If he’s coming at you, you can go at him a little bit,” said Whiteside, who flipped the ball to home-plate umpire Mike Muchlinski after the collision. “There’s no rule in the book says you can’t take it to him a little bit, you know?
Right on, Eli. Those pesky baserunners are always trying to score runs. Who do they think they are, anyway? They deserve a real punch in the mouth, do you know what I mean?
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.