Ten days ago Giants manager Bruce Bochy voiced some mild concern about Pablo Sandoval’s conditioning, offering a little dubiousness that Sandoval’s reported 25-pound weight gain was “all muscle,” and saying “he knows he has some work to do.”
Today Carlos Alberto Zambrano at Lider en Deportes — translated for us by amigo-of-HBT, Nick Collias — reported that Sandoval didn’t take too kindly to Bochy’s mild criticism and waxed defiant about it:
“I’m not interested in what people say about me. I’ll shut their mouths when spring training begins. That’s the date when I need to arrive in shape.”
“They’re going to say I’m fat because of seven pounds? Seven pounds isn’t anything. But people like to talk. I don’t pay attention to those things. I trust in what I can do on the field and always achieve my objectives.”
“I want to know what those people who’ve said bad things about me are going to say when I arrive in perfect physical condition. I don’t have more fat on my body; the truth is that I’ve gained muscle mass.”
They make you take your shirt off at spring training, dude, so I guess we’ll all know next week. And no matter how much fat is on those bones, something tells me that Bochy isn’t going to take too kindly to being told that Sandoval is going to shut his mouth.
I mean, they won a World Series without Sandoval being particularly effective. Something tells me that Bochy would be willing to try it again if he was sufficiently pissed off about it.
Giants’ right-hander Mark Melancon is considering surgery for an undisclosed injury, the pitcher told reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. Melancon did not divulge the exact location of the injury, but revealed that it had been plaguing him off and on since the 2012 season and was a separate issue from the right pronator strain that kept him sidelined through much of July and August. Giants’ head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner called the injury day-to-day and has not revealed a timetable for the right-hander’s return, should surgery become necessary.
Melancon, 32, has struggled to replicate the sparkling pitching line he produced with the Pirates and Nationals in 2016. He’s toting a 3.80 ERA through 25 appearances with San Francisco, flanked by a 1.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 23 2/3 innings. His season has been significantly shortened after multiple trips to the disabled list for a right forearm strain, and while he looked to be in line to resume his closing duties this week, the Giants will likely play it safe with the veteran righty to keep him from compromising his health in 2018.
Although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe in nature, it’s clearly intensified over the last few months. Per MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Melancon said he’s “had discomfort every day this season,” though he hopes to continue pitching through the remainder of 2017. The Giants aren’t on the verge of contending by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid end to the 2017 season could help Melancon make some headway as he looks to reclaim his status as the team’s closer next spring.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.