"To be able to see him kind of relax -- I know that was beneficial for me, to know the Giants had faith in me," Cain said.Manager Bruce Bochy observed at FanFest that Sandoval needed to shed a few pounds before Spring Training opens. The Giants' initial full-squad workout is scheduled for Feb. 24. Sandoval insisted that his weight, which is believed to hover in the 250-pound range, was the product of increased muscle, not fat. Sabean vouched for Sandoval's diligence by saying that the 25-year-old frequently works out twice daily. Those sessions include defensive seminars at the club's Scottsdale, Ariz., training complex with Jose Alguacil, the organization's roving infield instructor. After working extensively with Alguacil last year, Sandoval finished second to Philadelphia's Placido Polanco in the NL Gold Glove balloting. Having focused on quickening his first step in drills with Alguacil this offseason, Sandoval believes that he can realize a new ambition. "I want to be first [in Gold Glove voting] now," Sandoval said. "My goal is to have a Gold Glove one day." But Sandoval, a .307 career hitter with a .857 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), always will be regarded as an offensive threat, first and foremost. Undergoing LASIK surgery on his left eye in November should only improve his ability to decipher pitches.
"I'm seeing the ball better from both sides of the plate," Sandoval said.Whether Sandoval bats third, fourth or fifth this season depends on a variety of factors. The performances of Buster Posey, who's attempting to overcome his injured left leg, and Aubrey Huff, who's striving to rebound from a subpar 2011, will influence where Bochy deploys Sandoval. So will the fate of newcomer Melky Cabrera, who could be used at leadoff or toward the middle of the order. "I don't care," Sandoval said. "I just want to be in the lineup."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.