PADRES 5, GIANTS 1: Freddy Sanchez may open season on DL

BOX SCORE

First, we heard it was going to be last Wednesday.

Then, no, it was Friday.

Then possibly on Saturday.

And now it’s Monday, the Giants have a day off, and we still don’t know when second baseman Freddy Sanchez will play his first game in the field.

It won’t be Tuesday. Wednesday?

Bochy said Sanchez was still throwing tentatively during his last full-speed infield drill last week, and the manager wants to see him game-ready in practice before putting him into a game.

“Once he takes a good infield and feels like he can play in a game, we’ll put him out there,” Bochy said. “But not until then.”

Sanchez could take infield practice on Tuesday or Wednesday, then take a day off, and could be ready to play the next day. But the uncertainty has led Bochy to admit that his second baseman could open the season on the DL.

“We’re down to two weeks, and he hasn’t gotten out there yet,” Bochy said. “We’re still optimistic that we’ll get him out there, but each day that goes by the possibility grows a little bit that he’s not going to be ready.”

Mike Fontenot, Ryan Theriot and Emmanuel Burriss are battling for backup infield jobs. It figures that only two will make the team. Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle said Theriot has not looked good in the field or at the plate this spring. Theriot is hitting .200 (6 for 30).

The Giants covet Theriot for his experience, his right-hand bat and his ability to hit lefties. But they have also starting give shortstop Brandon Crawford more opportunities this spring against lefties. Crawford hit his first spring home run off a lefty, the Mariners’ Hong-Chih Kuo.

“Any home run feels good,” Crawford said. “That is came off a lefty, it probably feels better.”

Burriss went 2 for 2 with a triple and a walk Sunday, raising his spring average to .441 (15 for 34). He also has five steals.

If Sanchez opens on the DL, all three infielders should make the team. Another option is to put Ryan Vogelsong on the DL to open the season, activating him on April 15 when the Giants first need a No. 5 starter.

Then, the Giants could open the season with 11 pitchers, allowing them to keep an additional position player on the roster at least for the first nine days of the season.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Brandon Belt had a double in three at-bats, leaving his spring average as .368 as Aubrey Huff sat out with a sore back.
  • Madison Bumgarner looked ready for the season, giving up four hits and no walks in five scoreless innings. He wanted to pitch into the six, but Sunday’s less-than-ideal conditions led Bochy to have MadBum finish his day with 20 pitches in the bullpen.
  • Clay Hensley gave up three rusn on three hits in one inning, although two runs were unearned.

UP NEXT

The Giants will keep their rotation intact by having Matt Cain throw a minor-league game Monday. Barry Zito will get the start Tuesday against the Diamondbacks at 1:10 p.m.

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