Red Sox: Pablo Sandoval arrives in camp early for spring training
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval has arrived in Fort Myers for spring training ahead of schedule and looks ready to get to work.
The first official workout for Boston Red Sox position players is still eight days away, but Pablo Sandoval has already arrived in camp ready to get started.
While pitchers and catchers aren’t officially mandated to report to camp until February 13, with the rest of the position players to follow on February 16, it’s typical for many players to show up early to get a head start. Several Red Sox players have been seen working out at the team’s practice facility in Fort Myers since last week.
Last year Sandoval created a mini-controversy by being among the last Red Sox players to arrive. He was in camp two days before the deadline, but showed up out woefully out of shape and ultimately lost his starting spot at third base by the time spring training concluded.
More from Red Sox News
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Why Red Sox fans should be rooting for Carlos Correa’s Mets deal to go through
The Panda Watch didn’t drag out quite as long this year, as Sandoval appears committed to making a better impression. Showing up earlier than most of his fellow veteran position players signals that he is eager to prove himself after two disappointing seasons in Boston.
Perhaps even more promising is that Sandoval is in much better shape than he was a year ago. He spent the winter flooding social media with photos and videos showing off his slimmer physique, but the concern was whether or not he could keep the weight off. So far, it appears he has.
Sandoval took some batting practice Thursday morning at Jet Blue Park, swinging the bat from both sides of the plate. Getting full extension and being able to drive the ball are great signs for a player coming off of season-ending shoulder surgery.
The veteran third baseman has his work cut out for him as he looks to atone for what has essentially been two lost seasons since signing a lucrative $95 million deal with the Red Sox.
The weight loss is promising, but Sandoval wasn’t exactly slim when he was racking up All-Star appearances and World Series rings with the San Francisco Giants. Clearly his weight wasn’t the only problem, so showing up in shape doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be more productive.
The take away here is that Sandoval is putting in the effort to not only get in shape, but show up early to get a head start on reclaiming a role on this team. We haven’t seen nearly enough of that type of commitment from him, so this change is the biggest reason to be optimistic about a bounce-back season.