The Giants were hit with the injury bug once again, as third baseman Pablo Sandoval was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a broken hamate bone in his left hand.
Sandoval broke the same bone in his right hand last season and missed six weeks in April and May after having surgery to remove the bone. Dr. Tim McAdams will perform surgery on the hand Friday in Palo Alto. Giants trainer Dave Groeschner said the recovery time will be affected by a few variables this time around, however.
“It’s still four to six weeks,” Groeschner said. “Last time it was his throwing hand, which you need to be a little more careful with. Last time he did it he was swinging left handed, which he does predominantly. This time he did it right handed, so you just hope for some optimism.”
Sandoval did not speak to the media Thursday, but tweeted, “this is a hard moment in my career, but I know that with God blessing this will benefit me, to perform better for you guys. Thanks for all the support I will be back soon and the #PANDAMODE WILL ALWAYS BE ON NO MATTER WHAT.”
Taking Sandoval’s place on the roster is Connor Gillaspie, who started on Thursday. Manager Bruce Bochy said he will give Gillaspie the chance to stay in the starting lineup.
“I’m hoping Connor takes it and runs with it,” he said. “He’s our third baseman in Triple-A. He’s played there more than anybody, a left-handed bat that’s been swinging well, so I’d say he’s looking at most of the playing time.”
He also said Joaquin Arias, Ryan Theriot and Emmanuel Burriss can play third if needed, though filling Sandoval’s role on the team will not be that simple.
“You just don’t replace a bat like Pablo,” Bochy said. “This guy was on the All-Star team last year. There’s very few guys in Major League Baseball that can do some things he can do with the bat.”
Gillaspie was hitting .362 in 23 minor league games with three home runs and 13 RBI. He has six hits, including one home run, in 24 career at bats.