OAKLAND -- The Giants' decision to keep three catchers on the Opening Day roster dealt more with personnel flexibility than Hector Sanchez's health.
San Francisco set its 25-man contingent a couple of hours after Saturday's 4-3 loss to Oakland when catcher Guillermo Quiroz's contract was purchased and outfielder Cole Gillespie was reassigned to Minor League camp.
The presence of Quiroz, who accounted for the Giants' offense in the preseason finale with a three-run homer, will enable the Giants to use Sanchez as a pinch-hitter.
"He has a good, adjustable bat from both sides of the plate," Giants vice president and assistant general manager Bobby Evans said of Sanchez.
Sanchez's sore right shoulder appears to be less of an issue. He caught in a Minor League game Saturday in Arizona for the second straight day and, Evans said, "looks pretty good."
Quiroz, 31, has looked good through much of the spring, hitting .282 with 13 RBIs. He has compiled a .206 batting average in 103 games spanning eight seasons (2004-10, 2012) with Toronto, Seattle, Texas, Baltimore and Boston.
"He's gotten better with more playing time," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "His at-bats have gotten better, his catching, it looks like he's gotten in a good rhythm. He's got his confidence going and I like the way he's using the whole field at the plate. He's got some big hits, but you look more at the quality of the at-bats and they've gotten a lot better."
Dropping Gillespie meant that the Giants will begin the season with four outfielders, one fewer than the usual complement. But Evans pointed out that both Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres can play all three outfield spots, giving the Giants depth in skill if not in numbers. And first baseman Brandon Belt can substitute in left field if necessary.
Elbow 'OK,' Sandoval remains on active roster
OAKLAND -- The 25-man Opening Day roster that the Giants finalized Saturday included Pablo Sandoval, demonstrating their belief that the third baseman's right elbow had improved enough to allow him to play.
"Pablo's OK," Giants vice president and assistant general manager Bobby Evans said.
The Giants announced their final spring roster moves a couple of hours after their 4-3 loss to the Oakland A's. They purchased the contract of catcher Guillermo Quiroz, adding him to the 25-man roster, and reassigned outfielder Cole Gillespie to Minor League camp. Obviously, placing Sandoval on the disabled list was not among San Francisco's transactions.
Sandoval stretched and played catch with teammates before Saturday's game. Bochy hoped to get Sandoval an at-bat late in the game but didn't find a proper situation. Bochy said that Sandoval would work out Sunday before the team boards its 3 p.m. PT flight to Los Angeles.
Sandoval went 0-for-2 as a designated hitter Friday night in San Francisco before telling Bochy of discomfort and being replaced.
"He's doing a lot better today," Bochy said before Saturday's game. "He feels fine and actually wants to play."
Bochy said that using Sandoval off the bench during the season-opening series at Los Angeles would be an option to prevent him from aggravating his elbow injury, which has been diagnosed as nerve irritation.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.