Tim Hudson expects to return to Giants’ rotation Thursday

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Tim Hudson was scratched from his scheduled start Friday night against the Marlins due to a strained right hip. But it was apparently only a minor injury.

John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the veteran right-hander threw all of his pitches in a bullpen session on Tuesday at Coors Field and deemed himself ready to return to the Giants’ starting rotation for Thursday’s series finale against the Rockies. Hudson told Shea that he “didn’t even think about” his strained during the workout.

Hudson, 38, owns a fantastic 2.09 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in eight starts this year for San Francisco. He signed a two-year, $23 million free agent contract with San Francisco in mid-November.

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.