Pablo Sandoval contemplates future as Giants end Spring Training

Mar 25, 2024, 10:41 AM

SURPRISE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 25: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants signs autographs pr...

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants took the field against its AAA affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats, in front of a packed house on Sunday in what was one of the final tune-up games of the spring for the orange and black.

New faces like outfielder Jung Hoo Lee and Matt Chapman suited up for San Francisco, while old friend and three-time World Series champion Pablo Sandoval took the field for what could be the “Panda’s” final appearance in Sacramento.

Sandoval, 37, is preparing for what many believe will be the end of the three-time World Series champ’s time in a Giants uniform, as San Francisco announced that Tuesday’s matchup at Oracle Park against the Oakland Athletics “could be” his final game with the organization.

Before taking the field in Sacramento on Sunday, Sandoval said he wants to keep playing, but is thankful for his time in a Giants uniform if this week marks the end of his time in San Francisco.

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More on Giants legend Pablo Sandoval

The veteran infielder is back in Spring Training for an attempt at a third stint with the Giants following a World Series-filled run with the team from 2008-14 before returning to play for San Francisco again during the 2017-20 seasons.

Sandoval has been a staple for Giants fans, as you could see countless Panda hats around Sutter Health Park on Sunday. While Sandoval will always have a soft spot in the hearts of Bay Area sports fans, the two-time All-Star will likely find himself on the outside looking in when 26-man rosters are set for Thursday’s season-opener.

Although Sandoval might not make the final cut for Opening Day, his drive to play the game remains.

“Ah man, you know, like I said, whatever happens Tuesday, it’s a blessed time,” Sandoval said when asked about potentially playing at Oracle Park for the final time. “If it’s farewell, it’s been an unbelievable journey that I have had with [Giants fans] and all those 11 years that I played, so it’s a blessing to wear this uniform.”

Over 14 games of Spring Training action, Sandoval hold a .200 batting average and has driven in two runs while striking out 13 times. With players like Nick Ahmed, Tyler Fitzgerald, and Luis Matos appearing to have an inside edge to secure roster spots, Sandoval will likely begin the season in the minors or be granted his release.

Whether it be in San Francisco, Sacramento, or elsewhere, Sandoval hasn’t closed the book on his playing career.

“I want to play. I want to continue to play. I don’t make the [final roster] decision, but like I said, you know, it’s a blessing. It’s a bless to be part of this.”

Over 11 big league seasons with the Giants, Sandoval was an integral piece of three World Series championships (2010, 2012, 2014), winning World Series MVP in 2012.

The third baseman also secured two All-Star appearances while hitting .285, drilling 135 home runs, and driving in 569 runs over 1,149 games in the orange and black.

SF Giants Schedule

Regular Season

  • Thursday, March 28th-Sunday, March 31st – @ San Diego Padres
  • Monday, April 1st-Wednesday, April 3rd – @ Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Friday, April 5th-Sunday, April 7th – vs. San Diego Padres
  • Monday, April 8th-Wednesday, April 10th – vs. Washington Nationals
  • Friday, April 12-Sunday, April 14th – @ Tampa Bay Rays

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