Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton, a No. 1 overall selection of the Rays back in 1999, is not looking forward to returning to Tropicana Field on Monday for Game 3 of the ALDS. And he is not looking forward to facing Tampa Bay left-hander David Price.
“In the dome, it sucks,” Hamilton said. “I was messing with [Price] at the All-Star Game and said, ‘I hope we get to face you some time in Texas.’ But you got to take it as it comes, just try to go over there and battle him. He’s similar to Matt Moore, but Price throws a little heavier ball.”
(Quotes comes courtesy of Jon Machota with the Dallas Morning News)
It’s not typically wise to dabble in small sample sizes, but for the sake of this post Hamilton is just 2-for-13 (.154) lifetime against Price and a .172/.246/.293 career hitter in 15 total games at “The Trop.”
The Rays and Rangers are tied 1-1 in their five-game American League Division Series.
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.