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?