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Panda harbors dream of playing all 9 positions

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- If anyone is ever to play all nine positions in a game for the Giants, it would be Pablo Sandoval.

He's already pitched and caught, and manager Bruce Bochy is sure he wouldn't mind playing the other positions. In fact, he has talked to Sandoval about it.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- If anyone is ever to play all nine positions in a game for the Giants, it would be Pablo Sandoval.

He's already pitched and caught, and manager Bruce Bochy is sure he wouldn't mind playing the other positions. In fact, he has talked to Sandoval about it.

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"Of course he would want to do it," Bochy said. "There's probably not a position he's going to be a little skeptical of playing."

Sandoval's versatility has been useful for the Giants. Primarily a third baseman, he has been pressed into service this season after Evan Longoria broke his finger a month ago. But he has also made 18 starts at first, two starts at second and pitched a perfect inning in April against the Dodgers in a blowout loss.

Video: Must C Curious: Sandoval tosses perfect 9th inning

Bochy said he talked to Sandoval last season, when the Giants were out of playoff contention, about a nine-position game. The manager added that, despite not having a lot of speed, Sandoval has quick instincts, which may stem from being a catcher earlier in his career.

"The thing he's always had -- he may not be a fast runner -- but he's had quickness," Bochy said. "He may not have the range that some third basemen have, [but a] hard-hit ball to his left or right, he's as quick as anybody is."

That was on display in Friday night's win over the A's, when Sandoval took away a potential go-ahead hit from Jonathan Lucroy in the seventh inning with a diving catch on a line drive, helping the Giants escape a bases-loaded jam with nobody out. Sandoval also dove for third base after making the catch and almost doubled-up Stephen Piscotty, who scrambled back safely.

"That's what you want from your third baseman," Bochy said. "You're looking for long range. That's why they're there. That's more of a reaction position. That's what he does have."

Bochy said he would enjoy watching Sandoval play all nine positions -- something that has only been done five times in MLB history -- though he admitted the outfield might be rough.

"For an inning, you can say enough prayers and hope he'll get you through it," Bochy said.

Bochy on Casilla

The A's designated Santiago Casilla for assignment on Saturday. The Giants have fond memories of the veteran pitcher. In between the eight seasons he spent in Oakland, Casilla pitched seven seasons for the Giants (2010-2016), playing a big role in the back end of the bullpen in the team's three World Series titles.

In 25 postseason appearances with the Giants, Casilla was 1-0 with a 0.92 ERA.

"Santiago did a great job for us," Bochy said. "He helped us win some World Series -- something I'll never forget. He's such a class guy. I'm sure it wasn't easy for the A's to let him go. I have nothing but great memories of the time that I spent with him. I appreciate all he did here."

Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland.

San Francisco Giants, Pablo Sandoval