Could Pablo Sandoval’s looks be deceiving?
Few would dispute that Sandoval looks like he’s the same size this spring training as he was throughout last season. And some might even argue that’s concerning for the Boston Red Sox, who wanted the third baseman to arrive at camp in better condition. But according to Sandoval’s trainer, Rafael Alvarez, everyone needs to take a chill pill.
“He’s better than he was last year,” Alvarez told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. “More muscle. His speed and range is good. There’s no problems. He’s quicker than he was last year.”
Sandoval, who signed a five-year, $95 million contract last offseason, is coming off the worst season of his eight-year career. He hit .245 with 10 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .658 OPS while ditching switch-hitting (albeit temporarily) and providing subpar defense at the hot corner.
According to Bradford, Alvarez estimated that Sandoval lost about 25 pounds from his final weight last season before reporting to camp this week. The trainer also expects Sandoval to lose more weight before the start of the regular season. The optics, of course, paint a different picture, but Alvarez, who works with Sandoval over the offseason and during the regular season, is confident his client is ready to silence his doubters in 2016.
“He’s better. He’s very, very good,” Alvarez told Bradford. “This year, he will stay better. You will see a different Pablo Sandoval.”
The Red Sox need a different Sandoval. The 2015 version didn’t cut it.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports Images
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