Tommy Hanson is in the best shape of his life

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The “Player X has added Y pounds of muscle” construction is closely related to the BSOML phenomenon.  Indeed, it is believed that that “muscle” and “shape” have similar roots in Indo-European etymology!*

Don’t let the overgrown offseason beard fool you. Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson has been working hard this offseason, taking advantage of some new resources available to him.

Hanson spent the winter in Southern California working out at the Boras Sports Training Institute with a team of trainers … Hanson said Monday morning on the first day of the Braves’ pre-spring pitching camp that he’s gained 10 pounds of muscle.

On a less cliche note, everyone talks about Boras being the big willy agent because the money he gets his players. And that’s clearly the best reason to hire him.  But the fact that he has the money and scale to operate a training  center and have a staff whose sole purpose is to cater to baseball players — and the fact that it’s located in beautiful Southern California — has to be a pretty big differentiator.

*May not be true.

The Giants are considering Pablo Sandoval at second base

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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.