Pablo Sandoval back with VWL squad after health scare

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Good news out of the Venezuelan Winter League.

According to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, Pablo Sandoval has returned to the starting lineup for Navegantes del Magallanes following a short stay in a local hospital. He was diagnosed with colitis (swelling of the large intestine) but got over the painful symptoms it was causing in just a few days.

Sandoval, a native of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, went 8-for-35 (.229/.325/.343) during the VWL’s regular season. His team is now in the playoffs.

The 26-year-old third baseman batted .283/.342/.447 with 12 home runs, 25 doubles and 63 RBI in 442 plate appearances last year for the World Series-champion Giants. “Kung Fu Panda” owns a solid .303/.353/.490 career batting line in the major leagues.

Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds

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As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.

According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”

Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.

There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.