Going into the 2017 season, one of the biggest question marks for the Boston Red Sox will be Pablo Sandoval.
The third baseman missed all but three games of the 2016 campaign due to a nagging shoulder injury that required surgery. After such a long absence from game action, no one knows what to expect from Sandoval this season, but he’s ready to show everyone what he’s capable of, as he told WEEI’s Rob Bradford on Thursday.
“I have to prove everything,” Sandoval told Bradford. “Especially when you’re coming from an off year after the injuries and you come back and you have to prove a lot of things to the fans, to the team, to your teammates, to the sport. You have to prove a lot of things out there on the field.”
While we’ve yet to see Sandoval on the diamond this year, a promising sign has been his much thinner frame. After his weight was a subject of intense criticism last year, Sandoval appears to have hit his offseason workouts hard as he came into spring training much leaner. Despite impressive progression, Sandoval clarified that his fitness regimen is not completed, and will carry on into the season.
“It’s going to be different because of the schedule, the travel,” he said. “But the program is going to be there. It’s not going to be as hard as I’ve done in the offseason, but I’m going to continue to work and get the program done.”
Sandoval not only has his eyes set on the upcoming season, but also his career aspirations.
“I want to play eight more years to show my son, so he can see his dad play growing up,” he said.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images