- Buster Posey is lost for the season, Freddy Sanchez could be facing season-ending shoulder surgery and Brandon Belt is walking around with a cast on his left wrist, where a broken bone is healing.
- Sadly, Miguel Tejada appears to be near the end of the line in a great career. And more than a shortstop, their biggest need is behind the plate, where backups Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart are splitting the duties — and to their credit, with no loss of effectiveness from the pitching staff they are handling in Posey's absence.
All that, and the Giants sit in first place in the National League West.
And now they have their Panda back. Pablo Sandoval came off the disabled list last week, his infectious personality helping to liven up the clubhouse, and more importantly, his bat lengthening the middle of a Giants order in need of help.
And he didn't waste any time making a difference. In his first at-bat, Sandoval lined an RBI single to right-center. In his third at-bat, he saw 10 pitches and worked a walk, showing the six weeks he spent recovering from surgery to repair the hamate bone in his right hand brought some patience. He also made a nimble defensive play.
"Story-book comeback,'' closer Brian Wilson said. "We're excited he's back. He's a threat.(Opposing) pitchers know about his power and his timely hitting.''