Twins outfielder (and sometimes designated hitter) Jason Kubel has been on the 15-day disabled list since the end of May with a sprained left foot.
He began a minor league rehab assignment earlier this week and was hoping to return to the Minnesota starting lineup in a matter of days, but that plan is going to have to be put on a bit of a delay.
According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Kubel was lifted from a rehab game Thursday at High-A Fort Myers after tweaking his left foot while chasing after a ball. It’s not a serious setback, and the 29-year-old is going to attempt to resume his rehab assignment on Friday night.
“I knew I was going to have to play through a little pain,’’ Kubel said in a phone interview with the Star-Tribune, “but it was a little bit more than just a little. So I didn’t want to keep going like that. Just a little setback.”
Kubel, 29, was batting .310/.355/.465 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 217 plate appearances before suffering the left foot injury. The Twins, still 11 games under .500, sure could use that offense right now.
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.