SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval rejoined the Giants today and wasted no time getting back into the lineup. Sandoval, who was off representing Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, wasn't originally scheduled to play tonight against the Padres but talked his way into the lineup, manager Bruce Bochy said. He'll play third base and bat third.
"I was just going to give him another day, but he said he's ready to go and he wants to be out there," Bochy said.
Venezuela was eliminated in opening-round WBC play with losses to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Sandoval said he enjoyed the experience and had some "great moments" -- among them following a home run by Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera with one of his own in Venezuela's win over Spain. (Sandoval said the two didn't talk at all about the 2012 World Series. "That's past," he said).
He said the most memorable part of the experience was when Venezuela's lineup was introduced before their first game in Puerto Rico.
"How the people cheered for us," he said. "We were in another country and people went to see the Venezuelan team. So it was exciting for me, all the fans representing out there."
Asked if he was disappointed Venezuela didn't go further in the tournament, Sandoval shrugged and said, "It's part of the game." He said he would play in the WBC again if the opportunity arises.
The Giants sent Sandoval to the WBC with a conditioning regimen to follow. Bochy said he hadn't gotten a good enough sense yet of how Sandoval did in that regard. Sandoval lost 14 pounds between reporting to camp and leaving for the WBC, with the Giants ruling he would not play in spring games without hitting certain weight goals. Bochy said that's still in effect.
"It's something we've talked about," Bochy said. "He knows it. We'll continue to do what we did before he left. That's something that he and I have talked about, and he's got to keep up his conditioning just like the rest of the team."
* Second baseman Marco Scutaro, who was also playing for Venezuela in the WBC, is scheduled to rejoin the Giants tomorrow, Bochy said.
* Tim Lincecum is making his first start tonight against the Padres since being scratched from his last two with a middle finger blister on his right hand. Bochy said the Giants are looking for Lincecum to throw 35-45 pitches, depending on how innings go.
* Back in the Giants' clubhouse, Sandoval was making use of the kitchen facilities this afternoon by microwaving his new glove. Sandoval said he has taken to sticking new gloves in the microwave twice a day, wet in a few places, to soften them up for use.
"It works," he said.
Sandoval was using the model, a white and orange SSK, while taking grounders before tonight's game.
* The Giants' lineup for tonight, a 7 p.m. start against San Diego.
-- Matt Kawahara