SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will activate Pablo Sandoval from the disabled list before Monday's series opener in Los Angeles, Bruce Bochy announced after Sunday's loss to the Marlins. The team will option utility infielder Nick Noonan to Triple-A to clear space on the roster.
The Giants are sorely lacking their big third baseman. Sandoval hit more home runs in his two-game rehab stint with the Single-A San Jose than the entire Giants team hit over the past nine games. But can you ask one player to change the offensive culture in the locker room?
"If you can," Hunter Pence said of Sandoval Sunday, "it's definitely him."
"It certainly should do something for the club," manager Bruce Bochy agreed. "We need a lift right now, and he's a big bat -- a presence.
"Hopefully he will spark this lineup."
Sandoval, 26, is hitting .298 with eight home runs and 37 RBI this season, but he's missed the last 14 games after his strained foot landed him on the disabled list on June 12. He went 4-for-6 with two home runs in his two rehab games.
As the Giants packed up suitcases for a 10-game road trip, Noonan packed up for Fresno. The 24-year old is hitting .212 with four RBI and nine runs for the Giants.
"It's a little bittersweet," Noonan said. "Obviously you want to be here, but it's an opportunity to play every day."
"He's been doing a pretty good job," Bochy said. "But somebody's gotta go. And he's got options and needs to play every day."
Noonan will likely get that chance with the Grizzlies, but more important for the Giants is getting their All-Star third baseman back in the lineup every day.