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.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.