Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Giants really miss Pablo Sandoval's bat and enthusiasm
The 2011 San Francisco Giants were derailed by injuries, and once again injuries have reared their ugly head for this year's team.
Already out for the season is closer Brian Wilson, after undergoing elbow surgery. Wilson's injury has forced the entire bullpen to step up and move one step ahead of their normal roles.
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has broken the Hamate bone in his left hand after breaking the same bone in his right hand last year. The Giants are hoping for the Panda's return in early June.
At the time of his injury, Sandoval was the Giants' most consistent and productive hitter, batting .316 with five home runs and 18 RBI. Sandoval's infectious smile and enthusiasm are also sorely missed by the Giants.
Second baseman Freddy Sanchez is still trying to rehab from offseason shoulder surgery. He still has trouble making the throw across his body and has had several setbacks.
Most recently—while trying to play third base, where he would not have to throw across his body—Sanchez came up with a sore back and had to take more time off.
Sanchez is a career .297 hitter and has excellent bat control. He is a professional hitter and sorely missed. Sanchez, prior to his injury woes, was also a fine defensive player. At this point in his attempted rehab, it appears Sanchez's days of being an everyday player may be over.
The Giants have tried Emmanuel Burris, Ryan Theriot, Charlie Culberson and Joaquin Arias at second base this year. None of these players have stepped forward to seize the job, although Arias has been the best of the bunch.
Relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt injured his knee at home when lifting up his kid. He recently returned after a stint on the DL. Amazingly, Affeldt had another accident at home last year when he sliced his hand in August and had to miss the remainder of the season. The Giants need Affeldt to bolster their bullpen.
Aubrey Huff, who was a team leader in 2010, was recently on the DL, due to an anxiety disorder. He is back now, but hasn't made a big impact.
Melky Cabrera was held out of Wednesday's game with an injured toe. The Giants can ill afford to have him miss any significant time.
In addition to the injuries, the Giants lost Guillermo Mota due to his second PED offense. Mota will miss 100 games, and it's questionable if he will ever wear a Giants uniform again.
Although Mota was not pitching that well, he was a veteran leader out of the pen and his departure means a young pitcher, who is not yet ready, must step in to fill the void.
Although there is nothing the Giants can do about their current string of injuries, the best they can hope for is for in the immediate future is for Sandoval to return, stay healthy and productive for the remainder of the season.
They also must hope that the rest of their key players stay healthy.