Pablo Sandoval

Sandoval recalls sending Zaidi, Bochy workout videos during comeback

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After deciding to take a crack at making the Giants' roster, Pablo Sandoval sent San Francisco's president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and others workout videos demonstrating that he still can hit at a major league level. In speaking to KNBR 680's “Murph & Markus" on Thursday, Sandoval explained how he started sending Zaidi videos of his workouts after encouragement from his son.

“Yes, I was sending him [Zaidi] videos, after I came back from Dubai playing in the Baseball United league,” Sandoval said. “I sat down with my kid, and he was like ‘dad, you still hit, you can play two more years,’ and we started working out together and I started sending videos to Farhan. He said ‘do you think you’re serious, or do you want to do the [Segio] Romo thing? What do you want to do?’

“I told him, I just wanted the opportunity to be back, and I’ll show you [how I can still play].”

Sandoval’s longtime Giants teammate Sergio Romo signed a largely ceremonial minor league contract with the club in 2023, retiring after throwing a pitch in a Bay Bridge Series exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics. Romo, along with Sandoval were critical components San Francisco’s dynastic run from 2010-2014 where the team won three World Series titles in five seasons.

However, Sandoval made it clear that he wanted a legitimate shot at making the roster. When asked by Brian Murphy and Markus Boucher if he also sent his workout videos to his former coach Bruce Bochy, currently the manager of the Texas Rangers, the 37-year-old admitted that he did indeed send the footage and talked extensively with his old skipper about an MLB return.

“Yes, I did,” Sandoval explained. “I had a great conversation with him, and he said ‘yeah I can talk to the [Texas Rangers] GM and see’ but I made it clear to Farhan that I wanted to come back with the Giants, not other teams. If the Giants didn’t give me an opportunity, then yeah, I’d go with other teams, but my priority was the Giants.”

San Francisco outfielder Austin Slater, who was a teammate of Sandoval’s during his second stint with the team from 2017-2020, is not surprised and he noted how great it is having him around again as his diligent work ethic makes everyone around him better.

Speaking on Murph & Markus,” Slater elaborated on these points when asked how it felt having Sandoval back.

“It has been great, Pablo brings an energy -- I think the fans are aware of this -- in the clubhouse,” Slater shared. “I think something that isn’t talked about as much is his work ethic: He’s the first one in the clubhouse every day, he’s the first one in the cages, he sets a great example for the guys.

“That’s something I’ve seen for a really long time and for some of the guys that haven’t been around as long it’s great to have him back and they can see ‘hey this is what it takes, this is what you have to do, this is the example that you set to try to win championships’”.

Sandoval showed up at spring training in impressive shape and won over the rest of the Giants with his positive attitude and work ethic while mentoring many of the club’s younger players.

Still, the veteran will face an uphill battle to secure a roster spot as the team has depth at first base with LaMonte Wade Jr. and others in the fold. This, along with the recent signing of Jorge Soler, who will be the everyday designated hitter will make it a daunting task for Sandoval to crack the 26-man roster for opening day.

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