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Weight might not be Pablo Sandoval’s biggest issue

February 24, 2016

SandovalTo throw out an obvious statement: Pablo Sandoval is fat. Now for the less obvious one: it might not be the biggest issue.

Sandoval waddled into Spring Training a day later than expected this season and he did not look like he had dropped a single ounce despite John Farrell saying the Red Sox third baseman had dropped somewhere between 20-22 pounds. That was back in January. And, of course, Sandoval said he hadn’t stepped on a scale offseason. Red Sox nation is already calling for Sandoval’s head.

And it makes sense — to a degree. But the fact that he’s fat might not be the biggest issue. Anyone complaining about his weight clearly never saw him play in San Francisco. The three-time World Series champ always has been thick to put it nicely. But he was also one of the top hitters in the game for a while.

Regressing. That’s what Sandoval is doing at the plate — based off of his OPS in each of the past four seasons. His OPS last year was the lowest in the major leagues among players with at least 500 plate appearances (.658).

When Sandoval was hitting .330 for the Giants in 2011, no one was complaining about his gut. When he recorded the final out of the 2014 World Series, there was no outrage, nor was there any when he was the 2012 World Series MVP. If weight was not an issue for Sandoval back then, how would it be now?

In the first place, the Red Sox really only signed Sandoval because they were desperate. Garin Cecchini had a down year in AAA in 2014, and Will Middlebrooks had a rough year in the majors. The team wanted to fill the gap at the position. And they wanted a veteran.

Regardless of what happened in 2015, Sandoval is just trying to move forward.


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