Sabean on Pablo Sandoval: shape up or ship out!

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Giants’ beat writer Hank Schulman spoke with Brian Sabean. Pablo Sandoval came up. Schulman says that, according to Sabean, “Panda starts next year in minors if he doesnt get his act together.”

I’m assuming this is primarily about his conditioning, which many felt was responsible for his pretty terrible 2010 season. Conditioning so poor that a guy who was supposed to be a key component for the Giants was a complete non-factor in the postseason and watched from the bench as his teammates won it all. And he capped that off by being photographed as he prepared to dig in to a giant Buca di Beppo sundae. Which isn’t exactly a great moment in messaging.

Last year the Giants’ offseason was dominated by talk of “Camp Panda,” the team’s effort to get Sandoval into shape.  That obviously didn’t work, because he looked as big as Peterbilt once spring training came around and it only got worse after that. This winter, I suspect, that they won’t consider Sandoval’s condition  to be their primary responsibility Because, quite frankly, they’ve shown that they don’t need him in order to win.  It’s gonna be up to him to decide if he wants to be around for more winning.

If he fails? Big trouble for Sandoval. Because there ain’t no Bucca di Beppo in Fresno.

Freddie Freeman exits game after being hit on wrist by pitch

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman had to exit Wednesday night’s game against the Phillies after he was hit on the left wrist by a Hoby Milner fastball in the bottom of the eighth inning. Charlie Culberson pinch-ran for him and stayed in the game to play first base.

You may recall that Freeman’s left wrist is the one that was fractured by an Aaron Loup pitch last year. Understandably, there’s some concern here. The Braves should provide an update later tonight or on Thursday.

Freeman went 1-for-3 in Wednesday’s game before exiting. On the season, he’s batting .288/.468/.492 with two home runs, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored in 79 plate appearances.