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Pablo Sandoval: maybe not that good anymore?

Just asking questions here

Milwaukee Brewers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With his strikeout last night, Pablo Sandoval now has 0 hits in his last 38 at bats, and if the Giants were hoping that he’d make an impact on the lineup, well, it’s hard to argue he hasn’t. Sandoval broke Johnnie LeMaster’s San Francisco record of 37 straight hitless ABs, and pulled within 8 of Eugenio Velez’s major league record of 46. That’s an impact, all right. Sure is impactful.

Sandoval last got a hit on August 25, which was two Fridays ago. It’s been a little while. Here’s a list of every player who has gotten a hit for the Giants since Pablo Sandoval’s last hit:

  • Carlos Moncrief
  • Brandon Crawford
  • Hunter Pence
  • Jarrett Parker
  • Joe Panik
  • Kelby Tomlinson
  • Buster Posey
  • Nick Hundley
  • Ryder Jones
  • Denard Span
  • Matt Moore
  • Gorkys Hernandez
  • Ty Blach
  • Mac Williamson
  • Madison Bumgarner
  • Tim Federowicz
  • Austin Slater

For the record, included on that list are three pitchers, three players who were called up in September, two players who are currently hurt and unable to play, one player who was DFA’d for not being good enough to be in the team’s plans for the future, one player who is seemingly in Bruce Bochy’s doghouse, and Gorkys Hernandez.

If you always thought that the Pablo Sandoval experiment was a bad idea, this is honestly a good thing for you. This Band-Aid is getting ripped right off, and we can barely even notice because one of our legs has caught on fire. If there was ever any hope at all that Sandoval wouldn’t make the team next year, that a Giants team with a shot at playing meaningful baseball wouldn’t shoot itself in the crotch by starting a non-major league talent at third base, it was that he would be so bad this year that even the Giants couldn’t justify bringing him back in 2018. Well, if not mission accomplished, then mission as close to accomplished as you could hope for.

And for those people who thought that this was a fine move or a good one, who believed that nothing was wrong with Sandoval that a change of scenery couldn’t fix, well, here we are. Sandoval hit ..237/.286/.360 in his time with Boston, and .212/.269/.354 this year, got cut for not being good enough, and is now even worse. His line with the Giants is .186/.245/.255, and if you’d like some context for that, it’s terrible. It is a worse OPS than Conor Gillaspie, Mike Morse, Justin Ruggiano, Christian Arroyo, and Miguel Gomez. It is just barely a better OPS than Jae-gyun Hwang, Aaron Hill, and Carlos Moncrief.

Other than Gomez and Morse, who were hurt, all of those players were removed from the Giants roster for not being good enough at baseball. I don’t know that the same thing will happen with Sandoval; the Giants are very loyal to their former players, and they often stick with them far, far too long. But on the other hand, the Giants were intending to use this as an evaluation period. What further evaluation is necessary? The Giants wanted to see what Sandoval’s still got. They’ve seen it. What else is left for them to consider?

So the Pablo Sandoval Return didn’t work out, or isn’t working out, or won’t work out, depending on how much more rope he gets. At least we got some hilarious futility out of it, and its own graphic to boot:

In the end, what else could we ask for, other than a watchable team with talented players playing baseball at a high level?