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Freddy Sanchez is playing third base on rehab assignment

May 10, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

freddy sanchez batting getty Getty Images

Pablo Sandoval being out 4-6 weeks with a fractured hamate bone has the Giants thinking about creative ways to replace him, which is why second baseman Freddy Sanchez played third base yesterday on his minor-league rehab assignment.

Sanchez has suffered numerous setbacks trying to recover from shoulder problems, so counting on him returning as a productive player is iffy enough without a position switch, but Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that the 34-year-old “went to manager Bruce Bochy last week and volunteered to try playing third base.”

Post-surgery arm strength was already going to be an issue for Sanchez at second base and last time he played third base was 2006, but he’s logged more than 1,300 career innings as the position and claims the longer throws are somehow easier on his shoulder.

Of course, it’s also worth noting that Ryan Theriot and Emmanuel Burriss aren’t exactly putting up huge numbers splitting time at second base, so Sanchez returning as a third baseman might solve one problem while leaving another.

  1. bpearse230 - May 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    I think it has more to do with getting him going on his rehab assignment. “Giants manager Bruce Bochy said it’s easier on Sanchez’s surgically-repaired shoulder to throw from third base as opposed to second, so the team will evaluate his ability to play there going forward”. I don’t know how a longer throw is easier on a shoulder than a shorter one. He has played both positions at the MLB level, so I don’t think it really matters where he does his rehab.

    • nogoodtomedead - May 10, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      I can see it being easier in that the angle allows you to get more square to your target at first and use your whole body a little more. A lot of those second base throws require you really whipping your arm around using your shoulder strength- my one thought to justify something that doesn’t make much sense to me either. I sure wouldn’t expect any diving backhands where he jumps to his feet and rips a strike across the whole diamond though.

  2. thomas2727 - May 10, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    FREDDY FREDDY FREEDY

  3. rhmurphy - May 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    He was a better defender at third back in the day. I imagine that him at third and utility players at second are better than the other way around.

  4. bigleagues - May 10, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Freddy Sanchez put on one of most dominating defensive displays I’ve ever seen at the hot corner – at least since Michael Jack Schitt played the game.

    10 Putouts, 1 Assist

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS200306140.shtml

    The 10 putouts was one shy of the MLB record for a Thirdbaseman in a single game.

    The crowd gave him several standing ovations and began chanting “Fred-dy Fred-dy”.

    I still think he is capable of being above average at 3B and the Giants sure could use his quality At Bats.

  5. granted42 - May 10, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    I believe part of the issue of him playing second base is the shoulder getting in the way of turning a 6-4-3 double play.

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