Because Brandon Belt was hit in the head with a baseball again, the Giants are bringing Pablo Sandoval up from Triple-A. I know that I use the “mail that sentence back to April” construction a lot, but you’ll forgive me for using it one more time in this case. Imagine that sentence in April. Maybe slap something about the race to 100 losses on it.
At least this is a season you’ll never forget.
There’s no specific update on Belt, but given his past history of concussions, there was no way the Giants were going to rush him back. If they were contending and the 15-day DL was still the only option, I would guess that the team would monitor him closely, do nothing, and cross their fingers. But they are most certainly not contending, and the 7-day DL means the Giants are risking, at worst, four or five days of having Belt on the roster. Bless the Giants’ proactiveness, and bless the 7-day DL.
Which brings us to the fella replacing Belt. Pablo Sandoval has a history here, man. He was a hero and hat salesman, and he lived long enough to become the villain. It’s utterly bizarre and random that he’s on the team, and it’s even weirder that this doesn’t have to be temporary — the Giants can have him for the league minimum for the next two years, so there’s actually something to gain from figuring out if he’s irrevocably broken.
And I’m coming around on the idea that he might not be. Sandoval is turning 31 in a couple days, which is right when a player might be entering the sketchy stretch anyway, but I stopped being so cynical about him for two reasons:
- Heaven help me, but he really is slimmer and has kept weight off this season, help, why am I talking about Pablo Sandoval’s weight again, helllllp
- He was awful in 2015, but he’s had just 105 at-bats in the two seasons since then, which is firmly in small-sample territory. Which means, if you squint, he’s had just one really bad full season and seven decent-to-great seasons.
Keep squinting. But there’s zero risk. If Christian Arroyo were healthy, this might not be happening. If Jae-gyun Hwang could hit, even just a little, this might not be happening. And, of course, if people would actually stop hitting Brandon Belt with baseballs, this might not be happening.
But it is happening. Pablo Sandoval is coming back in the year 2017. Mercy, what a strange season.