Pablo Sandoval is overweight, again.
The Giants are reportedly not happy with the third baseman’s fitness level and he is listed at 262 pounds at the beginning of spring training. He was listed at 240 pounds last season.
Manager Bruce Bochy told the Mercury News that Sandoval will go through extra conditioning in the morning and afternoons.
Sandoval, the MVP of the 2012 World Series, had issues with his weight in 2010 when he tipped the scales at 274 pounds. He hit .268 that season, the lowest of his career.
Pablo Sandoval’s transformation after the 2010 season (ProSource.net photo)
ProSource.net documented his weight loss after the dismal season by talking with his trainer Ethan Banning. Banning said Pablo lost over 35 pounds with a “regular exercise schedule” and a carefully monitored diet.
The Giants may want to contact Banning again as they need one of their top sluggers in playing shape if they wish to repeat as World Series Champions.
Teammate Marco Scutaro disagrees with Bochy and the rest of the organization. “He just finished playing like a week ago,” said Scutaro. “He’s good. He’s fine.”
While some could argue that Sandoval performed well in the World Series at a similar weight, it is understandable why the Giants are concerned and would like him to shed a few pounds.
“I feel in shape,” Sandoval told Chris Haft of MLB.com. “Who cares what other people say?”
Pablo Sandoval’s first action this season will be with Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Their first game is March 7.
– – Shea Raff
The San Francisco Giants will lose 10 players to the World Baseball Classic. They are the second most represented team in the majors behind the Brewers.
Pitcher Jose Mijares, second baseman Marco Scutaro and third baseman Pablo Sandoval will represent Venezuela. Pitcher Javier Lopez and outfielder Angel Pagan of Puerto Rico will battle their Venezuelan teammates as well as pitcher Santiago Casilla (Dominican Republic) in Pool C of this year’s WBC. These games will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Casilla told the Mercury News that Sandoval would get a fastball right down the middle if they were to face each other.
“Outside pitches, he can hit. Down in the dirt, no problem. But he doesn’t hit pitches that are down the middle.” There has been no shortage of smack talk leading up to the Classic.
Giants fans should also keep an eye on Pool D in Phoenix with pitchers Jeremy Affeldt and Ryan Vogelsong of Team USA squaring off against fellow pitcher Sergio Romo (Mexico) and minor-league catcher Tyler Latorre (Italy).
The Giants are not worried about the high number of stars leaving camp to participate in the tournament.
“I’m not anticipating the World Classic slowing up anybody’s preparation,” said Bobby Evans, vice president of baseball operations.
Hitting coach Hensley Meulens will manage Team Netherlands in this year’s WBC.
The semifinals and championship round will be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, March 17-19.
– – Shea Raff
The San Francisco Giants didn’t need a flashy offseason to create buzz for the upcoming season. The G-men are looking to repeat as World Series Champions with virtually the same roster returning to spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The team returns all five starting pitchers and the bulk of their lineup by resigning second baseman Marco Scutaro and center fielder Angel Pagan.
How can resigning a handful of players be the biggest news of their off-season? It seems San Francisco doesn’t want to mess with success.
Starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong told the Mercury News, “It was a pretty special group last season, and you can’t replace that.”
Although the Giants seem to be primed for another successful season, one bump in the road may lie ahead. Former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum is coming off his worst season as a pro with only 10 wins and an ERA of 5.18.
Right now, the Giants’ biggest challenge is making sure those championship rings fit tight, but not too tight.
– Shea Raff