Jeff Passan has a feature up about Pablo Sandoval. Specifically how his weight, personality and outstanding ability to smack baseballs around interact. Sandoval knows that balance won’t last forever, so he knows that changes need to be made … eventually:
“I’ve got this year and next year to change all the things,” Sandoval said. “It’s going to take me a while, but I can do it. I know I can do it.” … At some point, the reasoning goes, his lack of conditioning will catch up. Sandoval thinks it’s at 30 years old, when his metabolism may go to hell and send him up toward three bills. And it’s why he’s giving himself two years.
A lot of people think that throughout their 20s. Then they realize how much harder it is to lose weight in their 30s. Added to this is the fact that in two years, presumably, Sandoval is going to be in the first year of a lucrative long-term deal, which could quite easily sap any additional incentive he has.
Sandoval makes it work now. But looking at the history of big guys in baseball suggests that it’s not gonna work forever. One would hope that someone could impress that upon him now.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.