“I once ate a 12-pound steak this big” – Pablo Sandoval
by Nathan Mendelowitz
Pablo Sandoval: The man, the enigma, the gutted one.
Those are just a few ways and names to describe the Giants most interesting player on the roster. There are many reasons why Sandoval is the most interesting, unfortunately most of them are for all the wrong reasons.
When Pablo burst his way onto the scene back in 2008, it was exciting. Here was a short and stocky player with the body type of Babe Ruth and could hit a pitch anywhere in or out of the strike-zone. Seeing Sandoval swing at horrible pitches and somehow turn them into doubles was dumb-founding, yet amazing.
The allure Sandoval brought lingered for another season until his weight caught up to him and in the 2010 championship season, he struggled.
Next season was better as he lost weight and got back into shape and was a highly productive player.
This season however, Sandoval has reverted back and is worse than he has ever been. He has gained all his weight back, and seems to have given up since getting injured in mid-June.
Even Bartolo Colon thinks Pablo Sandoval is fat.
— Ed Leyro (@Studi_Metsimus) July 9, 2013
I thought Pablo Sandoval's nickname was "Panda" because he was big, fat and from China. #SFGiants #Dodgers
— DodgerzGM (@DodgerzGM) September 8, 2012
If I was given $5 for every time I hear about Pablo Sandoval being fat, I'd be a millionaire.
— Matt Caliwag (@illMatt) July 7, 2013
First let’s look at his abysmal stats.
Before going on the Disabled List in June, Sandoval was hitting .289 with eight homers and 37 RBIs. For 57 games, that’s not bad, though, it’s easy to expect more from Sandoval. In the 12 games since coming back from injury, Sandoval is hitting .111 with zero homers, zero RBIs and only one extra-base hit.
That is beyond poor hitting, it’s disgraceful hitting. It’s also unacceptable for a player like Sandoval, who has proven himself to be a much better hitter in more than one season.
Hitting .111 usually means you’re in a slump, but this doesn’t apply to Sandoval. When Pence was in a huge hitting slump, you could see the frustration in him. He wanted to get a hit very bad and pull his way out of it. With Sandoval, it’s like he isn’t even trying.
This leads to his over-arching problem of a lack of focus physically and mentally.
While in the batters’ box, Sandoval is sluggish, uninterested and undisciplined. It was one thing when he swung at a pitch the same level of his chin and he would pound it out of the yard. Now, he’s slow and misses it making him look like a fool. It’s rough to watch when he lazily swings at a ball low and outside with no hope of making contact.
With no focus, Sandoval is making himself a guaranteed out.
He also use to be lively when in the batter’s box. Now he just stands there, waiting for the pitch like he knows he’s not going to hit it.
This is something that is not easy to fix. Sandoval needs to dig deep mentally and fix his problem.
Whatever is bothering him, he needs to come to terms with it and let it pass. Getting a few hits could help him get out of it, but he’ll need something else. Sandoval isn’t very open about his personal life so it’s tough to see what’s been bothering him.
However, for the sake of himself and the Giants, he needs to find it fast. Sandoval’s hitting is only getting worse and with only Buster Posey and Marco Scutaro hitting, the Giants are struggling.
Sandoval has bounced back before, but he was never in this bad of shape physically and mentally. The Giants play the Mets who are also having a bad year and this could be the tune-up they, and Sandoval, need.