Sandoval is getting into playing shape

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Sandoval swing.jpgSpeaking of weight, Pablo Sandoval is back in the U.S. following a tour of the Venezuelan league that reportedly had him falling off the healthy food wagon:

[Giants head trainer Dave] Groeschner feared a big weight gain in Venezuela when Sandoval was
left to fend at the dinner table without the nutritional prepackaged
meals he was given at Camp Panda. Sandoval said he was good – mostly.

“I was still eating the same portions,” he said, “except Sunday. I went away from the diet.”

And what South American delicacies did he consume when he went off the plan?

“Hamburgers and hot dogs from stands in the street,” he said.

Ah, the Anthony Bourdain diet.  I bet it was tasty.

In other Panda news, here’s Sandoval’s interaction with the emcee at a charity dinner last night:

Emcee: What position do you like most?
Sandoval: Hit.
Emcee:  Which glove do you like best?
Sandoval: Bat.

Evidence that there is no God: This guy and Adam Dunn are forced to wear gloves in the National League while Ozzie Guillen plans on using Omar Vizquel as a DH in Chicago.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.