Injury news is never fun, and this is far from an exception. San Francisco Giants corner infielder, exuberant pinch-hitter, and occasional relief pitcher Pablo Sandoval will undergo Tommy John surgery in the coming weeks.
Sandoval is currently on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to August 11, so well past the 10 days) due to “elbow inflammation”. He’s been dealing with pain in his right elbow since 2013, due to bone chips, but this time things got a fair bit worse, and the ulnar collateral ligament will require surgical repair.
The Giants announced that Pablo Sandoval will have Tommy John surgery the first week of September. Terrible news for a guy who resurrected his career. He had said for a couple of weeks that he felt his elbow was in really bad shape.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 24, 2019
The damage and pain to the right elbow keeps Sandoval from being able to throw or bat right-handed. But he’s still potentially able to bat left-handed. As a result, the Giants are considering activating him for a final at-bat, something Sandoval and Bruce Bochy would both very much like to see, and the fans surely would as well.
Could Bochy get Pablo Sandoval one more at-bat at home before his surgery?— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) August 24, 2019
“I’d love to.”
Says they’ll have to make a decision as a staff and see if it’s even possible given the condition of Sandoval’s elbow.
This is Pablo Sandoval talking about the possibility of getting one more at-bat this season.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) August 24, 2019
A lot of raw emotion here and it’s clear how much of a team-first player he is. Notes he doesn’t want to make an out. pic.twitter.com/2e3XfPPGXh
Tommy John surgery and the ensuing rehab is a long and arduous process, but it’s worth noting that recovery is a bit quicker for a position player than for a pitcher. Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani returned to his position player duties in early May of this year, after undergoing surgery on October 1.
That was perhaps a rare exception, but still: Sandoval will likely be back on the field next year.
Trainer Dave Groeschner said he believes Pablo Sandoval will be able to play next season. Sandoval will become a free agent this offseason, but Groeschner said the Giants will monitor his progress and assist with his recovery throughout the rehab process.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) August 24, 2019
Where Sandoval will be when he returns is another story. He’d certainly be safest in the American League, where he can be a designated hitter, but it’s also clear that his heart, like so many people’s, is in San Francisco. We’ll see if the organization views things similarly.
Pablo Sandoval: “This is not the end of my career.” Says he hopes to play next season. Uses Ohtani as inspiration. Wants to stay with Giants but knows that is not entirely his decision.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 24, 2019
This is a bummer of a situation all around, as Sandoval had finally rejuvenated his career, and was playing exciting, valuable baseball for the Giants.
Here’s hoping the recovery goes smoothly, and that this isn’t goodbye.