Maybe not. But Hank Schulman says that the Panda is on his way there:
Yes, yes, yes. You’ve heard this before. You’re skeptical, and you should be, until you see what he looks like in spring training.
Nevertheless, I’ve heard from a number of folks that Pablo Sandoval’s conditioning work at a private facility in Arizona is paying dividends … [Rich] Aurilia lives in Phoenix and told me today he saw Pablo at a shopping mall just before Christmas. Sandoval told him he had lost 17 pounds.
So it’s second hand. And given that it was a self-estimate, it was probably overstated (has anyone who has ever had a hint of a weight problem ever done anything different?) And even it was 17 pounds, given where Sandoval was, ten pounds of it was probably just water weight bloat.
Forgive me if I’m not being terribly charitable to Sandoval here. But given how much weight he put on last year and how unsuccessful his weight-loss program was last offseason, I’m skeptical.
On Monday evening, the Yankees and Nationals resumed a game from May 15 that was suspended due to inclement weather. The game was suspended after the top of the sixth inning with a 3-3 tie. That, and the next day’s game, were rescheduled for today, a month and three days later.
An interesting thing happened in that month and three days: Juan Soto made his major league debut. Soto, at the time of his promotion, was the minor league leader in home runs. He took his first major league at-bat on May 20, pinch-hitting in a game against the Dodgers. He struck out. He got his first start the next day against the Padres, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
When Soto stepped to the plate on Monday evening in the bottom of the sixth inning, technically he is considered to have done so on May 15. As fate would have it, he absolutely obliterated a 97 MPH fastball from Chad Green for a two-run home run. So he homered in his major league debut after having already made his major league debut. Does Soto have a DeLorean? On May 15, Soto was batting third for Double-A Harrisburg. He went 3-for-4 (all singles) with an RBI.
Michael Kay, citing the Elias Sports Bureau on the YES broadcast, said that it still considers Soto’s debut as having occurred on May 20, but he will have an asterisk denoting May 15’s suspended game. His first major league hit and RBI are still considered to have come on his three-run homer against the Padres. So there’s that.