So after a winter of mystery and a spring of veiled projections, the Giants finally came out with a timetable on the return of second baseman Freddy Sanchez.
And it’s not great.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the San Jose Mercury News that Sanchez’s first appearance with the Giants is “looking like the end of April or first of May.”
Bochy insisted that Sanchez has not been dealt a setback, and we guess we can believe that since the Giants NEVER really said when Sanchez would be ready for the season.
Currently, Sanchez has graduated from hitting off a tee to taking soft-toss batting practice. But with the month moving into its latter stages, it is looking more likely that Sanchez won’t be able to get into a Cactus League game this spring.
So, until Sanchez is ready, the Giants will turn to Juan Uribe at second base. So the good news is the Giants get Uribe’s bat into the lineup early. Uribe was one of the Giants’ better run producers last season, although he’s scuffled a bit this spring.
Bochy appears to be leaning of using Edgar Renteria in the No. 2 hole while Sanchez is mending. That likely will produce a lineup that looks like this:
CF Aaron Rowand (RH)
SS Edgar Renteria (RH)
3B Pablo Sandoval (SH)
1B Aubrey Huff (LH)
LF Mark DeRosa (RH)
C Bengie Molina (RH)
2B Juan Uribe (RH)
RF Nate Schierholtz (LH)
Now, when More Splash Hits first heard this before the start of spring training, we cringed. After watching Renteria struggle last season, we were convinced the Giants would be better with the following lineup:
CF Aaron Rowand
LF Mark DeRosa
3B Pablo Sandoval
1B Aubrey Huff
2B Juan Uribe
C Bengie Molina
LF Nate Schierholtz
SS Edgar Renteria
MSH is still not convinced that this lineup wouldn’t be the better one. But after watching Renteria play Saturday against the Reds, we’re less worried about having Renteria in the No. 2 hole.
Renteria’s procedure last winter to remove bone chips in his elbow seems to have paid off. On Saturday, Renteria pulled on an inside pitch and spanked it over the left-field fence. Later, he turned on another inside pitch and hit it just foul down the left-field line. So clearly he’s doing things this spring that he wasn’t able to do last season. Still, MSH would prefer to see him do those same things in the regular season before automatically putting him in the No. 2 hole.
Bochy said he remains open to other lineup options.