Freddy Sanchez clawing his way back

The horror of Aubrey Huff playing second base on Saturday made Giants fans long for good ol’ Freddy Sanchez.

If everything goes as planned, the Orange and Black faithful will get their first glimpse of Sanchez on May 11 against division rival Arizona.

That’s the target date the Giants have set for the 2012 debut of Sanchez.

The former NL batting champ, coming back from surgery on his right shoulder, began an 18-day rehab assignment with high-A San Jose Monday night. Sanchez went 1-for-3 batting second as the designated hitter.

If Sanchez is healthy upon his return, his presence makes the Giants lineup even deep than it already is. In the first game of the doubleheader against the Mets on Monday, the Giants started five hitters batting over .300. Sanchez was hitting .289 with 69 hits in 60 games before he got hurt on June 10 of last season.

In his absence, Emmanuel Burriss has been filling in admirably. Coming into Monday’s doubleheader, Burriss was hitting .303 with just one error in 37 chances at second base. With Burriss playing well, the Giants will be fine if Sanchez suffers any type of setback during his rehab.