Giants eye Tuesday for Sandoval's return

Giants eye Tuesday for Sandoval's return

SAN DIEGO -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who's essentially recovered from his fractured left hamate bone and the subsequent surgery, likely will be reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday.

"We're hoping he'll be ready then," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday. Sandoval has played four Minor League injury rehabilitation games -- three with Class A San Jose and one Tuesday with Triple-A Fresno, in which he played nine innings at third base.

Bochy indicated that Sandoval probably will return shortly after Tuesday if he's not activated on that date. Sandoval, who hurt himself May 2 against Florida, was batting .316 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 24 games when he was sidelined.

The switch-hitting Sandoval, who owns a .250 average (4-for-16) on his rehab stint, has taken batting practice right-handed but hasn't hit from that side in a game.

The Giants are known to be concerned about Sandoval's weight. Bochy acknowledged that the team's athletic training staff will continue to monitor Sandoval's physical conditioning.

Sandoval's off-field issues are another potential concern. Sandoval is the subject of an investigation involving sexual-assault allegations stemming from a June 1 incident. The Santa Cruz County sheriff's office hopes to complete its probe by the end of this week before deciding whether to seek charges against Sandoval.

Bochy didn't sound too worried about the case becoming a distraction.

"Players here know Pablo," Bochy said. "Hopefully his full concentration and focus is on the field."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.