Pablo Sandoval GiantsOne hour before first pitch, it was announced in the press box that Pablo Sandoval would not play due to “right elbow discomfort.”  No, elbows do not contain hamate bones. I checked.

It’s a surprising development, because Sandoval has been playing and performing well. Yesterday he went 2-for-3 and made two putouts, one throw to second base and a strong one to third on a play where he robbed Emmanuel Burriss of an extra-base hit (yes, that Emmanuel Burris).

Today during pregame warmups, Sandoval was his usual jovial, bouncy self. He was tossing a ball high into the air and catching it for a little bit. I didn’t see him make any throws, but Andrew Baggarly told me that he saw Sandoval playing catch. I guess I was too busy researching for my fantasy baseball draft tomorrow.

“Discomfort” doesn’t sound serious, and the Giants are always going to take precautions when the games don’t matter. But it’s something to pay attention to. Did Sandoval feel pain on that throw to get Burriss? He hit a double the next inning, for what it’s worth.

He was replaced at third base by Joaquin Arias, and Hunter Pence was moved from fifth to third in today’s batting order.

Sandoval has put up a .435/.480/.696 slash in 25 Cactus League plate appearances and went 4-for-13 with a home run in the World Baseball Classic, and has looked good at third base despite looking positively enormous. While he looks primed for a huge year (no pun … OK, pun intended), he has dealt with more than his fair share of injuries over the past couple seasons. He has had surgery to remove the hamate bones in both hands, and hit the disabled list with a left hamstring strain last year. He was also hospitalized with colitis in January while playing for Navegantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan League.

This elbow issue may turn out to be nothing, and I’ll report anything I find out this afternoon (my last in Arizona, as I’ll be heading back home tonight). Here’s one thing I can guarantee: I will not be drafting Sandoval tomorrow night to be the starting third baseman for my fantasy team.