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GRANT COHN: Big decision time on Pablo Sandoval

  • National League's Pablo Sandoval, of the San Francisco Giants, hits a three-run triple on a pitch by American League's Justin Verlander, of the Detroit Tigers, in the first inning the MLB All-Star baseball game Tuesday, July 10, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

SAN FRANCISCO – Here's the question of the year for the Giants: What should they do with Pablo Sandoval?

Entering Monday night's game against the Mets, the 26-year-old All-Star third baseman was 3-for-his-past-37. And he looks way overweight, more so than usual. The mechanics of his swing are out of whack and he can't field his position – he already has committed 10 errors this season.

He was batting .289 on June 8 when the Giants put him on the Disabled List with a strained left foot. Since his return on June 24, he's been awful.

"He's going to come around," Bruce Bochy told Bay Area reporters in the Giants' dugout three hours before Monday night's game. "I thought he swung the bat better his last start. He had two games of rehab in Vegas. It probably was not enough, but he's a good hitter. If you look at where we're at right now, we have to let him play through it. He's one of our guys. If we're going to have success, we need our guys to do what we hope and expect, and that's the case with Pablo. You've got to stay behind him."

Here's where the Giants were at before Monday night's game with the Mets: They were 40-47. They had lost 11 of their past 13. They were in fourth place in the NL West and 6? games behind the first-place Diamondbacks.

Bochy is partially right. If the Giants are going to come back and win their division, they won't do it without Sandoval. They need him. They don't have a better third baseman.

But Bochy, a first-rate manager, is wrong: Sandoval probably will not snap out of this slump.

The Giants should end his season right now.

"When they decide they're not going to make the playoffs – and I don't think they're going to make the playoffs this season," said a Major League scout who requested anonymity, "they need to send a message to Sandoval: You need to recommit yourself to training."

The Giants' media guide lists Sandoval at 240 pounds, but the scout estimates Sandoval currently weighs 290.

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