San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval hasn't played since April 30 after breaking the hamate bone in his right hand, but he's close to returning. He took soft-toss batting practice on Tuesday, and both he and manager Bruce Bochy were pleased with how that session went. Now comes the rehab assignment, according to Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News:
Pablo Sandoval to San Jose tomorrow on rehab assgt ... Sandoval will play 6 innings. Then he'll go to Fresno after that.
Sandoval was one of the only Giants who was hitting when he went down, and now with Buster Posey out, his bat is missed more than ever. In his absence, the Giants mostly played Miguel Tejada at third and utility man Mike Fontenot at shortstop.
With Fontenot on the DL himself now, the Giants are giving rookie Brandon Crawford a lot of playing time at short. When Sandoval comes back, there's a chance that Crawford could send Tejada to the bench, though it's more likely that Tejada slides back to shortstop.