SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Shortly after reporting to Giants camp this week, Pablo Sandoval met with manager Bruce Bochy and reiterated his desire to help the club in whatever way he can.He expressed a willingness to serve as the Giants' third catcher and volunteered to play some second base. Sandoval also
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Shortly after reporting to Giants camp this week, Pablo Sandoval met with manager Bruce Bochy and reiterated his desire to help the club in whatever way he can.
He expressed a willingness to serve as the Giants' third catcher and volunteered to play some second base. Sandoval also offered to pitch again, though Bochy is hoping he won't be forced to send another position player to the mound this season.
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"You never know, getting in a dire situation where you're going to need a position player," Bochy said Saturday. "I mean, he's perfect. He wants to do it. He showed he's pretty good at it."
Sandoval made his pitching debut in a lopsided loss against the Dodgers last April and cruised through a 1-2-3 inning on 11 pitches.
"I hate to think about him pitching again," Bochy said. "But you never know."
Sandoval's flexibility proved to be a valuable asset for the Giants last year before a torn right hamstring abruptly ended his season in August. The 32-year-old veteran batted .248 with a .727 OPS, nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 92 games while primarily backing up Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria at the corner infield spots.
With the Giants embracing more versatility under new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, Sandoval will once again have the opportunity to be a key contributor off the bench in 2019.
"He gives you options," Bochy said. "Pablo, he just loves the game, and he wants to do anything he can to help out and make us a better club. That's what you love about him. He just loves the game."
Sandoval, who is entering the final season of the five-year, $95 million contract he signed with the Red Sox before the 2015 campaign, is past his hamstring issue and is not expected to face any restrictions this spring. Bochy said Sandoval will likely catch some bullpen sessions in camp to refresh his skills behind the plate, as he hasn't caught in the Majors since 2009.
"I'll probably have him catch a 'pen or two to keep the cobwebs from getting too big on him," Bochy said. "He's got his catcher's mitt. He's ready to do that."
Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.