Pablo Sandoval is in the best shape of his life?

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Maybe not. But Hank Schulman says that the Panda is on his way there:

Yes, yes, yes. You’ve heard this before. You’re skeptical, and you should be, until you see what he looks like in spring training.

Nevertheless, I’ve heard from a number of folks that Pablo Sandoval’s conditioning work at a private facility in Arizona is paying dividends … [Rich] Aurilia lives in Phoenix and told me today he saw Pablo at a shopping mall just before Christmas. Sandoval told him he had lost 17 pounds.

So it’s second hand. And given that it was a self-estimate, it was probably overstated (has anyone who has ever had a hint of a weight problem ever done anything different?)  And even it was 17 pounds, given where Sandoval was, ten pounds of it was probably just water weight bloat.

Forgive me if I’m not being terribly charitable to Sandoval here. But given how much weight he put on last year and how unsuccessful his weight-loss program was last offseason, I’m skeptical.

Melvin Upton released by the Giants

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Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have released outfielder Melvin Upton. He requested his release.

Upton, who turned 33 yesterday, signed with San Francisco in early April after the Blue Jays released him. It was a minor league deal. After recovering from a rash of minor injuries, Upton batted .244/.306/.333 in 12 games at Triple-A Sacramento. There was no indication that the Giants were going to call him up. I presume that, back when they signed him, they figured they’d be contending and could maybe use a veteran bat. That’s obviously not the case anymore.

I suppose it’s possible that someone gives Upton a look when rosters expand in eight days, but I figure it’s more likely that we’ll next see him as he fights to make a team on a minor league deal next spring.

Carlos Santana left last night’s game with back tightness

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Andrew Miller leaving last night’s Indians-Red Sox game got all the press, but the Indians lost another key player in the game as well: Carlos Santana. He was forced to leave after going 0-for-3. There was no followup announcement after the game, so he’s likely being reevaluated.

Santana is hitting .250/.355/.446 on the year, but he’s been pretty hot of late, hitting .375 with a couple of homers in the past week.