Panda swings fungo, might return in two weeks

Panda swings fungo, might return in two weeks

MIAMI -- Switch-hitter Pablo Sandoval has begun swinging a fungo bat right-handed, and the third baseman could be ready to rejoin the Giants in two weeks, manager Bruce Bochy said Friday.

"That's if all goes well with no setbacks," Bochy said.

This would extend Sandoval's recovery time to five weeks -- squarely in the middle of the four- to six-week estimate that was cited when he went on the 15-day disabled list May 3, one day after he fractured the hamate bone in his left wrist.

In Sandoval's absence, the top half of the Giants' batting order has improved, at least incrementally. Gregor Blanco (.387 on-base percentage) has become a decent leadoff hitter. Angel Pagan and Buster Posey have kept their batting averages at or near .300, and Melky Cabrera has embarked upon a career season.

Bochy indicated that Sandoval, who batted mostly third before he was sidelined, won't hit anywhere lower than fifth in the order once he's activated.

"We'll see where we are [when Sandoval actually returns]," Bochy said. "It's hard to answer that right now."