Pablo Sandoval appears to have regained most of the weight he dropped last winter

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Kung Fu Panda’s gut is making a comeback.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged to Chris Haft of MLB.com Monday that third baseman Pablo Sandoval has regained at least some of the 40 pounds that he dropped last winter in a hardcore conditioning and dieting program.

Bochy didn’t seem bothered by the gain, telling Haft and other reporters that “overall, it’s been good.”

But the then-and-now pictures tell a different story.

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Here’s Sandoval taking a swing during an April 23 game against the Braves:

source: AP

And here’s a picture of Sandoval during last night’s 8-3 defeat of the Padres:

source: AP

Sandoval has actually posted a slightly better batting line (.299/.351/.519) since the All-Star break than the .303/.341/.503 mark that he registered in the first half. He has also slugged more home runs.

But the Giants have to be concerned about his long-term ability to stay fit and healthy while manning a position that requires a serious amount of athleticism. Might another personal offseason training regimen be in order?

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.