SAN FRANCISCO — Speaking to a crowd at Saturday's Giants FanFest, general manager Brian Sabean said he was pleased while watching slimmed-down third baseman Pablo Sandoval play in the Venezuelan League playoffs.
"He moved around very well," said Sabean, who tuned in for all but one of Sandoval's games. "By him taking it upon himself to go to Venezuela, a different culture and a different culture around food, especially around the holidays when he was going house to house to see friends — it's amazing he could (lose so much weight). That's a good sign."
Sandoval has reportedly lost more than 40 pounds, although he disputed that figure and said he'll release the real number before spring training. The third baseman was one of several Giants starters excused from FanFest, opting instead to stay in Venezuela and continue to work on conditioning.
Sabean touched on a number of roster issues during the session. He said he was thrilled to sign Tim Hudson and re-sign Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong, and said that the Giants will go with five outfielders so that manager Bruce Bochy can replace Michael Morse late in close games. That bodes well for Juan Perez, a spectacular defender who had a solid winter in the Dominican league.
Sabean said he is also interested in getting a longer look at Roger Kieschnick, who spent the offseason working with Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis, and added that former first-round pick Gary Brown isn't out of the mix after a disappointing year at Triple-A Fresno.
"He survived last year and sometimes that's the goal," Sabean said. "He's very competent (defensively) in the outfield and towards the end of the year he made strides. When you go through what he did as a No. 1 pick ... I think he's ready now, and relieved he's on the (40-man) roster. We haven't given up on him."