At the beginning of last week, Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle published a story about Pablo Sandoval and his offseason workout program. The third baseman, of course, was claiming to be in “the best shape of his life” and ready to turn his career around after a disappointing 2010 campaign.
We were skeptical. Sandoval tried a similar diet and workout plan last winter and he wound up actually putting on more weight in the end.
But take a look at this picture (to the right, or here) that “Kung Fu Panda” is using on his Twitter profile. Schulman said that Sandoval was down 17 pounds. Another reporter claimed he had dropped 22 pounds. We’re thinking it might be like 30 pounds, at least. He looks like half of his former self.
Sandoval exploded onto the major league scene in 2009 with a stellar .330/.387/.556 batting line, 25 homers and 90 RBI. He got MVP votes.
It all took a tumble last year as he battled conditioning issues, but the 24-year-old appears to be serious about making the correct changes.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.