SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval, National League All-Star? It's a possibility.
Injuries to Philadelphia's Placido Polanco and Atlanta's Chipper Jones, the third basemen currently on the NL All-Star squad, have made Sandoval a candidate to be added to the team that will face its American League counterparts in Tuesday's Midsummer Classic at Phoenix. The Reds' Scott Rolen was named Saturday to replace Jones, while Polanco hopes to test his ailing back Sunday and remain the NL's starting third baseman.
"It's fair to say he has a shot," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who happens to be the NL All-Star skipper and will have a hand in selecting the third-base replacements. "He missed a lot of time, but he's been doing a nice job."
Sandoval missed 40 games after fracturing his right hamate bone and undergoing surgery. But he entered Saturday batting .317 (26-for-82) with 10 doubles, three homers and 12 RBIs during a 19-game hitting streak that he extended to 20 games with a first-inning double Saturday.
Overall, Sandoval was hitting .301 with eight homers and 27 RBIs. Other leading possibilities include Aramis Ramirez of the Chicago Cubs (.299, 15 homers, 50 RBIs) and Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres (.301, two homers, 31 RBIs).
Since Bochy envisioned Polanco as a potential utility man, Bochy said that whoever's added should be capable at more than one position.
"Which I think fits Pablo," he said, referring to Sandoval's ability to play first base and catch.
Bochy added that a decision could be announced as early as Saturday night.