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When we last saw Pablo Sandoval in the major leagues he was dreadfully overweight, so
much so that he broke his belt when whiffing on a delivery from R.A. Dickey.

 

But his weight was only one problem. Shortly, after this embarrassing
moment, he was placed on the DL with a left shoulder (non-throwing) strain. The shoulder needed a torn labrum repaired, so Sandoval missed the rest of the 2016 season.

Sandoval’s shoulder is expected to be ready by the season opener.

And his belts should fare better as well. Sandoval has slimmed  down.

Of course we have been on this treadmill with the Kung Fu Panda before.

When Sandoval came up, as the video below shows, he wasn’t exactly slim
but definitely trimmer than he has been the past few years. Let’s say burly. And he could have been morbidly obese an one would have cared. In 2009, his first full season in the big leagues, he batted .330, had a on- base percentage of .387 and slugged .556.

In 2010 his weight ballooned and his production at the plate dropped.

Season Age Batting Average On base Slugging OPS+ WAR
2009 22 .330 .387 .556 144 4.3
2010 23 .268 .323 .409 99 1.5

The Giants let him know they were concerned about his weight and that they
were not interested in a long-term deal unless he got in better shape and regained his form on the field.

He lost 35 pounds before the 2011 season, getting down to a more reasonable
241 pounds on a frame that is listed at 5-foot-11. (I have stood next to him. I think he’s
shorter).

But he was heftier by the end of the season, as you can see in the video
below.

Still, his production in 2011 was better, despite missing 41 games after
breaking his right hamate bone in late April.

Season Age Batting Average On base Slugging OPS+ WAR
2011 24 .315 .357 .552 155 6.1

I interviewed him in spring training before the 2012 season. He had worked out
with the same people, Triple Threat Performance, who helped him lose all that weight before, and he claimed to be around 250 pounds. He definitely looked slimmer than he did at the end of the 2011 season.

He started the 2012 season well, running off a 20-game hitting streak. In
May break he broke his left hamate bone. His season overall wasn’t great.

Season Age Batting Average On base Slugging OPS+ WAR
2012 25 .283 .342 .447 123 2.1

But he was magnificent in the World Series, batting .500 and hitting three home runs in the opener and winning the Series MVP. As you can see, he literally came up big.

 

Season Age Batting Average On base Slugging OPS+ WAR
2013 26 .278 .341 .417 116 2.3

After another mediocre season in 2013, the Giants were on Sandoval to lose weight
again. He shed a few pounds but nothing as dramatic as the 2010-2011 off-season. And there was no dramatic increase in on-field production.

Season Age Batting Average On base Slugging OPS+ WAR
2014 27 .279 .324 .415 111 3.4

But once again, he was magnificent in the postseason, with an OPS over 1.000 in the NLCS and the World Series and catching a foul pop up for the final out of Game 7 against Kansas City.

He became a free-agent and signed with the Red Sox for $90 million over five
years. He got off to slow start in 2015, hitting .239 through mid-May. In the fish bowl that is Boston, that can be uncomfortable. He never really got going n 2015.

Season Age Batting Average On base Slugging OPS+ WAR
2015 28 .245 .292 .366 75 -0.9
2016 29 000 .143 .000 -57 -0.2

Last off season, his weight again was an issue, with back-and-forths over whether the Panda was told to lose weight or not.

The season was short for Sandoval. He played in only three games.

The Red Sox seemed to have found a reasonable replacement in Travis
Shaw
,
who started 99 games at third.

Season Age Batting Average On base Slugging OPS+ WAR
2016 26 .242 .306 .421 88 2.2

But the Red Sox traded Shaw to Milwaukee in December. The general feeling
is  Yoan Moncada is not ready for prime time, so it looks Boston is counting on Sandoval for 2017.

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