Kung Fu Panda’s gut is making a comeback.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged to Chris Haft of MLB.com Monday that third baseman Pablo Sandoval has regained at least some of the 40 pounds that he dropped last winter in a hardcore conditioning and dieting program.
Bochy didn’t seem bothered by the gain, telling Haft and other reporters that “overall, it’s been good.”
But the then-and-now pictures tell a different story.
Here’s Sandoval taking a swing during an April 23 game against the Braves:
And here’s a picture of Sandoval during last night’s 8-3 defeat of the Padres:
Sandoval has actually posted a slightly better batting line (.299/.351/.519) since the All-Star break than the .303/.341/.503 mark that he registered in the first half. He has also slugged more home runs.
But the Giants have to be concerned about his long-term ability to stay fit and healthy while manning a position that requires a serious amount of athleticism. Might another personal offseason training regimen be in order?
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.