UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Pablo Sandoval Shows Work Ethic With Weight Loss

Pablo Sandoval

For most of his baseball career, Pablo Sandoval has struggled with extra weight, which prevented him from achieving more amazing performance. In the 2016 season, he only played three games due to his serious shoulder injury. On April 13, 2016, and early in the season, he was put on the 15-day disabled list because of a shoulder strain. Then on May 3, he had surgery on his left shoulder, which led him down the long path to recovery.

Nicknamed “Kung Fu Panda,” he is currently entering his third year with the Red Sox, with a contract worth $95 million. Throughout the off-season, Sandoval has been working hard to get into shape. He even reported a week early to Spring Training, on Feb. 9. He is reported to have lost 30 pounds. Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. stated, “You can definitely tell he’s worked hard. We have faith that he’s going to do very well.”

Clearly, whenever a baseball player does not do well in performance, he should expect to get criticized by everyone. And this is exactly what happened to Sandoval. Now, he’s proving people wrong!

The 30-year-old baseball player is determined to practice switch-hitting again, when he initially dropped it during his first season with the Red Sox. Last season, he was not very alert playing defense. His overall average was only .245 and he had an OPS of .658.

In his overall two seasons with the Red Sox, he hit an average of .242 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 129 games. He was so determined to be his best that he even turned down playing with Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic team. He is a Venezuelan native, so that’s a big deal for him. Red Sox manager John Farrell described Sandoval as, “A left-handed bat who is a proven guy, and has every opportunity to make a major impact on our team this year.”

Sandoval is working hard to get his third base position back. He currently has to compete with Brock Holt. Sandoval had a .268 average and a .722 OPS. Holt’s overall total for the last three seasons consists of an average of .274 and a 716 OPS. Sandoval, however, has gained votes for MVP nominations, and is a fan favorite. He has won three World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He became World Series MVP in 2012 and was an all-star is 2011 and 2012. Therefore, Sandoval is the better candidate for third base.

Sandoval has high expectations, especially since David Ortiz is no longer in the lineup and Travis Shaw was recently traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, not to mention the high price that is attached to his contract. This is why there is a lot of pressure on Sandoval to do his absolute best as a third baseman.
When you have a player who is highly motivated and determined to be his best, you get the feeling that this upcoming season will be a good one. I think the Red Sox are going to be an ultimate powerhouse this season. The Panda is back!