SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Freddy Sanchez is slated to play the infield for the first time this spring in a Minor League game this weekend. The Giants second baseman has not played in the field since suffering a dislocated shoulder last June, though he has been used as a designated hitter in Cactus League games with the Giants and in Minor League contests.
"I believe Sunday, maybe even [Saturday], we'll put him at second, just to get him out on the field," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He will be playing second base."
Sanchez took infield practice for the first time in at least a week on Friday, but was not going through the drills at full speed. When practicing his pivot on double play balls thrown from the shortstop, for example, Sanchez would catch and pivot at full speed, then hold back on his throws -- essentially lofting the ball toward first base.
"We think he's able to make that play to first," Bochy said. "If it's a backhand play, he may not be able to make it. We'll tell him not to throw. We'll see how he's doing [on Saturday] and go from there. It's kind of day to day with Freddy, right now."
Bochy confirmed that Sanchez is determining his pace in the field based on his own comfort level making throws. But his pace in the field affects the Giants' decisions about where Sanchez will start the season and who will be in the lineup at second on Opening Day.
When asked if Sanchez is essentially in the same boat as starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, with Bochy saying the Giants are leaning toward starting Vogelsong on the disabled list and bringing him back in time for an April 15 start, the manager confirmed that Sanchez is in a similar situation.
"I think that's fair to say," Bochy said. "Nothing official yet. But where we're at at this stage, it's a strong possibility."