Pablo Sandoval makes weight, avoids benching

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This story about Pablo Sandoval’s struggle with his weight is not a repeat from two weeks ago, 2012, 2011, 2010 …

Late last week, Bochy told Sandoval he would bench him if the Panda didn’t tip the scales at a certain weight by Saturday’s Cactus League opener. “To his credit, he did,” Bochy said. “Although to be honest, I’m not sure how.”

My guess: some variation of the old reliable “one kid on another kid’s shoulders, both covered up by a trench coat” routine. Works every time.

I’m gonna be in Scottsdale to visit the Giants on Thursday. While I’m there I’ll give you my annual “Pablo Sandoval without his shirt on” report.

The Red Sox are calling up Rafael Devers

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Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.

Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.

There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.

Stephen Strasburg exited Sunday’s start with an apparent injury

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It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.

Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.

The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.