SAN FRANCISCO -- If any Giant has a chance to be elected by the fans in the July 15 All-Star Game at Minneapolis, it's third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
For one thing, he's well-positioned. With 1,194,607 votes in the latest update, Sandoval ranks third among National League players at his position, within striking distance of Milwaukee's Aramis Ramirez (1,279,902 votes) and New York's David Wright (1,260,895). Sandoval also is barely ahead of St. Louis' Matt Carpenter (1,049,472) and Colorado's Nolan Arenado (1,019,161).
Sandoval also has name recognition. He's a two-time All-Star who started the 2012 Midsummer Classic at Kansas City. That was his warmup for earning World Series Most Valuable Player honors in October.
Moreover, Sandoval is surging offensively. Though he entered Wednesday's series finale against the San Diego Padres in a 1-for-13 skid, he hit an RBI double in the third inning and batted .378 (17-for-45) in his previous 13 games. Sandoval also needed one home run to reach 100 for his career.
Defensively, Sandoval has been scintillating. He has committed just six errors in his first 71 starts at third.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 8:59 p.m. PT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Pagan placed on disabled list; Duvall recalled
SAN FRANCISCO -- Hoping they can avoid the fate they endured last season when Angel Pagan was sidelined, the Giants placed their center fielder and leadoff hitter on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a lower back strain.
Infielder Adam Duvall, the Pacific Coast League's home run leader, was recalled from Triple-A Fresno to replace Pagan on the active Major League roster.
Pagan injured his left hamstring on May 25, 2013, and didn't play again until Aug. 30. Tied for first place in the National League West when Pagan was injured, the Giants sank to fourth place, 6 1/2 games behind Los Angeles, by July 7. They trailed by a whopping 19 games when he returned to the lineup.
This year, the Giants have been reminded of Pagan's impact while losing 11 of 14 games entering Wednesday. He missed the last eight games in that stretch, six of which resulted in Giants defeats.
"We have to keep pushing," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose club clung to a three-game division lead over Los Angeles as the day dawned. "We can't change what's happened."
Pagan's DL assignment is retroactive to June 15. That makes him eligible for reinstatement next Monday, a scheduled off-day. Bochy was non-committal regarding whether Pagan, who's batting .307, would be ready for activation at that time.
"He just wasn't coming around," Bochy said of the 32-year-old Pagan, adding that the club's medical staff no longer has to rush in helping the switch-hitter with his rehabilitation and treatment.
Besides hitting a league-high 23 homers, Duvall was batting .297 in 67 games. He ranked second in the PCL in RBIs (67) and slugging percentage (.620).
Bochy said that he'll try to give Duvall, 25, a start or two at first base, with Michael Morse likely moving to left field in those instances.
Though the PCL has a reputation as a hitter-friendly league, Bochy regarded Duvall's power as legitimate.
"I don't care where you are. That's a lot of home runs," Bochy said. "He has 'easy' power."
Bochy meets with starters to address struggles
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy nonchalantly divulged that he and pitching coach Dave Righetti met Tuesday with members of the club's starting rotation to address their recent struggles.
San Francisco entered Wednesday having lost 11 of its last 14 games. Giants starters recorded a 5.63 ERA in that stretch.
The starters also compiled a 5.05 ERA in June before Wednesday's series finale against San Diego, second-worst in the Majors behind only Colorado (7.08).
"They can start pressing, too, just like hitters," Bochy said.
Bochy did not reveal details of what was discussed in the meeting, though he indicated that mental aspects were emphasized more than physical ones.
"You're always working to try to get them out of a funk [and build] their confidence," Bochy said. "That's ongoing."