Cole Hamels gave an interview to Philadelphia magazine back in September for a story about his wife and CSNPhilly.com put together some interesting tidbits, including this about the vibe in the Phillies’ clubhouse during their 89-loss season:
The energy in the clubhouse changed. It used to be all high fives. This season, there weren’t as many high fives. There was a lot of bitterness, pointing fingers–“You haven’t played well in a week, why weren’t you in here early?”
Hamels also noted that “you have to know when to start over” with an aging roster, which is interesting considering since his interview the Phillies have added 36-year-old Marlon Byrd and re-signed 35-year-old Carlos Ruiz.
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.