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The San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman broke the news: Pablo Sandoval has been diagnosed with a fracture of the hamate bone in his left hand. He suffered a similar injury to the same bone in his right hand last season and missed approximately six weeks and required surgery. It seems likely that Kung Fu Panda will have to go under the knife this time, too.
Schulman tweeted that the San Francisco Giants called up Conor Gillaspie, 24, to replace Sandoval on the active roster. He has more upside than anyone else the club could consider using at the hot corner for the next month and a half. His hot start (.362/.417/.521 at Triple-A Fresno) lends hope that he can carry some momentum.
Bruce Bochy is reluctant to play youngsters not named Sandoval or Posey, but Gillaspie is a left-handed hitter who stands out among the skipper's options at third (which says a lot about this lineup). He has a solid BA foundation and the tools to acquire double-digit home runs and stolen bases in a full campaign.
Bochy may opt for one of his reserve-infielder types at the position, at least some of the time, although that looks like a mistake for substandard offense. It wouldn't be shocking if Emmanuel Burriss or Joaquin Arias ended up there frequently. And, while on his rehab stint last week, fragile Freddy Sanchez (surgically repaired shoulder) suffered a setback. It's uncertain when (if) he'll rejoin the team, ensuring that San Francisco's infield depth remains littered with that mess.
It'll be interesting to see if they attempt to reprise Aubrey Huff's role at third base once he returns from the disabled list. He's eligible for activation on Monday. It's virtually certain that it'd be an unwise move, considering that he hasn't played there since 2008, was nothing special while playing it and at age 35 has been somewhat of a liability even in the corner outfield spots.
That's probably one of the last things that Bochy needs to consider putting on Huff's plate, since the veteran will be coming back from an anxiety disorder and has already struggled mightily this year. This move is highly unlikely - no recollection that this was a possibility last year - but one never knows with Bochy.
For replacements, rotisserie players, don't look here. Unless you're in NL-only leagues, where you could hit the short-term "jackpot" if Gillaspie becomes a regular. Deep mixed leaguers should opt for someone like a rising Pedro Alvarez or the Boston Red Sox's new fill-in, Will Middlebrooks.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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