Pablo Sandoval Headed for the Disabled List

Led by Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, the San Francisco Giants offense has actually been decent this year. Their 95 wRC+ ranks them 8th in the National League, thanks in large part to the contributions of Buster Posey (.342/.400/.575) and Pablo Sandoval (.316/.375/.537). Melky Cabrera has been good, and the team has gotten production from the Brandon Belt/Brett Pill platoon when they’ve played, but the offense has been driven by the consistent thumping of Posey and Sandoval.

Their depth is about to be tested, however, as Hank Schulman is reporting that Sandoval has a broken hamate bone in his wrist. He had this same issue last year – only this year, it’s the other hand – and he missed 41 games over six weeks while recovering from the injury.

The effects of the injury seemed to linger even after he returned, however. Here are his monthly wRC+ splits from last year:

April: 147
May: DL
June: 77
July: 149
August: 124
September: 209

Hand and wrist injuries are notorious power sappers, and Sandoval had just five extra base hits in 70 plate appearances in June. His power returned in the second half, and he was one of the best hitters in baseball down the stretch, so this shouldn’t derail him for the whole season, but if last year is any indicator of how the injury will affect him, this will likely be a problem for him until the All-Star break.

So, for the next couple of months, the Giants are going to have to get their offense elsewhere. Conor Gillaspie is expected to be recalled to take his place on the roster, but the Giants might need to look outside the organization for additional help. Perhaps the logical place to look would be for a player who can play both third base and shortstop, giving them the flexibility of replacing Brandon Crawford with the new acquisition once Sandoval returns. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ned Colletti was already on the phone offering Juan Uribe back to the Giants…

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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NOOO!! I *just* traded for Panda… Um, I hope his recovery goes well. Never like to see injuries like that happen.