Pablo Sandoval arrived early to Fort Myers, Fla., on Sunday, but he wasn’t the svelte infielder everyone was expecting.
And, apparently, that’s not even what the Boston Red Sox were looking for.
Despite Red Sox manager John Farrell saying in January that Sandoval lost about 20 pounds, the third baseman didn’t look that thin, and he got off to a bad start when talking to the media Sunday. Sandoval was asked if was out to prove himself after batting .245 with a .658 OPS in 2015, and his response didn’t exactly have all the buzz words.
“No, I don’t got nothing to prove,” Sandoval said, per the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato. “I just prepare myself to perform well, for my teammates to perform well, to try to get to the World Series. That’s what I’m doing. I put some goals in my mind, and I’m working hard to get it done on the field.”
Those goals didn’t include weight loss, either. While the word was that Sandoval had been asked to lose weight, Farrell told reporters he’d simply been asked to report in better overall condition.
“We outlined to him that he needed to come back in better condition,” Farrell said. “And along with that, you anticipate there’s the potential for weight to be dropped is there. But there wasn’t a specific number given and said ‘Hey, we want you to come in at this weight.'”
Sandoval did add that he was trying to prove to Boston that he could be a better offensive and defensive player. He reiterated that the World Series still was the goal and that he felt he learned from switching from the National League with the San Francisco Giants to the American League.
And Sandoval is keeping his head up after 2015.
“It’s not a disappointment,” Sandoval said. “It’s baseball. It’s a surprise. You can’t have the whole season be great. You’re going to have some ups and downs. You have to prepare yourself to be ready when those moments come, shake it off and you work hard to do everything you can do to prove next year you can be better than that.”
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.