It’s been a problem throughout his five-year MLB career, but San Francisco Giants 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval is still having problems keeping his weight under control. It’s so alarming that San Fran manager, Bruce Bochy, had to have a closed-door meeting with Sandoval over the topic.
The World Series MVP claims he’s in good baseball shape from playing Winter Ball in Venezuela, but no one else thinks so. He’ll still be doing extra workouts before and after full squad workouts to get his weight down to where the organization feels it should be for the 26-year-old.
After having a down season in 2010 and riding the pine for virtually all of the postseason while his teammates were busy bringing the first World Series title to San Francisco, Sandoval decided to make a change. He immersed himself in a conditioning program that winter, and reported to camp in 2011 in the best shape of his career; he responded by hitting .315/.357/.552 with 23 homers and 70 RBI while earning his first of two consecutive trips to the All-Star Game.
It was great to see Kung Fu Panda get his weight under control, as he not only returned to form at the plate, but his defense was much improved with the quickness he gained from being lighter. Although he dominated the World Series with a ridiculous .500/.529/1.125 line and stole the show by tying a series record with three homers in Game 1, I couldn’t help but notice that it looked like he put the weight back on.
It didn’t necessarily affect his play, but I was hoping he’d be hitting the weight room once again this winter to get back in shape, entering the second season of a three-year/$17.15 million deal he signed with the Giants (buying out the rest of his arbitration years). However, he played Winter Ball instead, and despite winning championship MVP in the Venezuelan League, he’s come back out of shape, even though he says he can do his job and it shouldn’t be a question.
It just doesn’t make sense that an athlete making millions of dollars can’t get his weight under control so he can perform at his highest level. I know it doesn’t seem to be effecting Sandoval’s play right now, but he also won’t be 26-years-old forever; his body won’t be able to carry that weight around the same way in a couple of years. Plus, it’s just not healthy for him, thinking about life after baseball as well.
I don’t doubt that Pablo will be shedding the weight the organization wants by Opening Day, as they also feel confident he will. It’ll be more of a battle for him to maintain it throughout the season, which seems to be the toughest part for him. I hope he’s able to get it under control so it doesn’t end up shortening his career in the next few years.
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