Pablo Sandoval tried his arm at pitching during the SF Giants’ summer camp
Who is that masked man on the mound? It is none other than San Francisco Giants infielder Pablo Sandoval!
The Panda could be found on the mound Monday morning at Oracle Park, getting some work in.
While the pitchers mound might not be a Panda’s natural environment, it’s not the first time he’s made an appearance there.
He faced three Dodgers in a lost cause in 2018, and three Reds in another tilted effort by the Giants in 2019. It took all of 21 pitches to record those six outs, with only a hit batsman reaching base.
Position players will again get the opportunity to take the mound, when necessary when the season begins just about 10 days from now.
MLB was originally slated to require teams to designate each player on the roster either a pitcher or a position player. Only pitchers would be allowed to pitch during the first nine innings of a game, or if a game was within six runs, unless a position player earned eligibility as a pitcher.
To be honest that doesn’t sound much different than the way position players were already being used in a game. But MLB was going to codify it.
With the short preparation for the 2020 season after COVID-19 caused the suspension of the season for several months, MLB made the decision to roll back the rule.
So, Sandoval can pitch if he’s needed. And given this Giants team is predicted to finish in last place in the division, league, and maybe entire MLB, it just might be needed a time or two.