San Francisco Giants: Team Considering Asking Pablo Sandoval Play Catcher?
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting on their website, SFGate.com, that the San Francisco Giants are considering asking Pablo Sandoval to dust off his catchers gear and catch as often as two games a week when he returns from injury.
Presumably the move would be just to give Eli Whiteside a few days off every week to keep him fresh. Whiteside was thrust into the starting role when Buster Posey was lost for the remainder of the season following his home plate collision with the Florida Marlins' Scott Cousins.
Pablo Sandoval would remain the team's every day third baseman despite the added responsibilities behind the plate, if he is asked to do so.
Sandoval did his make his major league debut as a catcher in 2008, but since his rookie season he has only caught three games back in 2009.
Still, Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle he believes Sandoval is capable of the transition:
"It wouldn't take as long as you might think," Bochy said. "Once you're a catcher, and you get back there for a game or two, you get the feel of it."
While the Giants are confident that Posey will return to catching duties in 2012, perhaps the team would be better served trading for a replacement to ride out the remainder of the season rather than risking another young member of the team's core by putting the Panda behind the dish.
If he is asked to put on the catchers gear, Sandoval does have experience handling Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathon Sanchez and Barry Zito. Then again, so does Benji Molina, who is still unsigned and would pose less of a risk to the Giants long term than messing with Sandoval's continued development as a major league third baseman.
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