Pablo Sandoval made his first career start at second base Sunday night, against the Chicago Cubs. Evan Longoria has supplanted him at third, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy apparently wanted Sandoval’s bat in the lineup with Buster Posey hurt, and the opening was at second base, where regular starter Joe Panik has been out all May with a thumb injury. Never mind that Sandoval had played less than one inning at second in his major league career.
It didn’t work, exactly, in the sense that the Giants lost, 8-3. But it also kind of did work! Sandoval had a hit as part of a three-run first inning for the Giants, and more impressively, he made a slick athletic play on a sharply hit grounder from Javier Báez, also in the first inning. Look at him go!
What a play! So was the Panda nervous, taking the field at a new position? You’re darn right he was! Per the San Francisco Chronicle:
“First inning, I was a little scared,” said Sandoval, whose only previous experience at second was two-thirds of an inning last year with Boston, after a Dustin Pedroia injury, “but after I made that play (on Baez), I was a little bit more loose and had fun a little bit.”
So far this season Sandoval has made nine appearances at third base, and another seven at first base, and threw a perfect inning in his first ever appearance as a pitcher, and made a highlight stop in his first ever start as a second-baseman. Next time they want Sandoval’s bat in there for Posey, just hand him the gear. He can do it.