Pablo Sandoval’s former trainer says Red Sox 3B needs a “baby sitter”

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Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald spoke to the former trainer, Ethan Banning, of ex-Giant and current Red Sox Pablo Sandoval. Banning did not provide a flattering description of the third baseman.

Banning described how he worked to hide Sandoval from the Giants during the offseason after the 2011 season. Sandoval had gained more than 20 pounds in three weeks as the two sides were negotiating a new contract. It worked, as Sandoval signed a three-year, $17.15 million extension in January 2012.

“I would go pick him up at a random location, drive him to the facility so that his car wouldn’t be there, so if they dropped in they wouldn’t know he was there,” Banning said. “So for about a three-week period, he had the flu — we had every excuse in the world. We were just trying to rip weight off him again. And it ballooned way out of control.”

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“I was coming in seven days a week, he was training three times a day on six days, and on Sundays he was training twice,” Banning said. “It was that bad. I mean, it got out of control.”

Banning also spoke positively about Sandoval, saying that the veteran of nine seasons could lose weight if he wanted to, but he added, “You need the baby sitter.” He went on, “At the end of the day, I’m speaking truth. […] I love the guy.”

Obviously, this doesn’t come as any surprise, as Sandoval’s conditioning has been a topic of conversation for years. He showed up to spring training — after a miserable 2015 showing — appearing to have put on some weight. And now the Red Sox have Sandoval on the disabled list with a mysterious shoulder injury after he lost the third base job to Travis Shaw.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.