ST. LOUIS -- Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval will begin his injury rehabilitation assignment Friday with high-Class A San Jose, where he truly commanded attention during his ascent to the Major Leagues. Manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday that the Giants' tentative plan is to give Sandoval at least 20 to 30 at-bats, then evaluate him. After playing a prescribed six innings Friday, Sandoval likely will appear again Saturday against Visalia. San Jose then goes on the road, leaving Sandoval to go to Triple-A Fresno, starting Sunday, for what could be his final activity before returning to the Giants. Fresno will be facing Las Vegas in a series that ends Tuesday.
"We're looking at four or five games," Bochy said. "If we think he needs more, we'll do it." Sandoval has been sidelined since April 30 with a fractured hamate bone in his right hand. The switch-hitter, who was batting .313 with five home runs and 14 RBIs at the time of his injury, underwent surgery on May 3 to have the hamate's hook-shaped portion removed. Sandoval created a sensation while playing for San Jose in 2008, hitting .359 in 68 games during his sixth professional season. He was with the Giants by Aug. 14.