Pablo Sandoval was in the midst of his best game in a Red Sox uniform when he departed from last night’s game. In two trips to the plate, Sandoval knocked a two-run single and a solo home run, providing half of Boston’s run output on the day, and also made a diving grab. Unfortunately, he also suffered some neck soreness on that catch and whiplash was the official reason for his exit in the sixth inning.
Luckily, the Red Sox were able to pick up the slack, with Mookie Betts lining a walk-off single into center and giving the Red Sox a 6-5 win. In similarly good news, Sandoval’s injury is not very serious and he could even be back in the lineup as soon as today.
After the game, Sandoval mentioned that he was “sore” but that playing through soreness was “a part of the game” and he would take one for the team.
Since signing a 5 year/$95M contract with the Red Sox, Sandoval has been impressive, especially lately. His power numbers have spiked recently, as he has hit his first two home runs with the Red Sox in the last two games, and he is now slashing .294/.392/.412, though that line hasn’t been entirely reflective of Sandoval’s performance. While Sandoval has absolutely crushed right-handed pitchers to the tune of .392/.492/.549, he is yet to pick up a hit in 17 at bats against southpaws.
It would be easy to see Sandoval abandon switch-hitting in an attempt to inject some addition offense into his game. However, even with his prominent splits, he has been a solid and dependable third baseman through the first three weeks of the season. Due to this injury, the Red Sox may wish to give him at least a day or two off before he returns to the lineup. Either way, though, it doesn’t appear to be a serious injury by any means and, with a key performer like Sandoval, that’s absolutely good news.