The Pablo Sandoval we saw in 2015 is not the same Pablo Sandoval the Boston Red Sox are expecting on the field this season. That’s largely due to the 29-year-old third baseman’s health, which manager John Farrell said he was very pleased with Thursday.
The biggest indication of that improves health? His performance swinging the bat from the right side of the plate.
“His right-handed swing looks much more consistent than what we saw at any time last year,” Farrell said Thursday. “The last couple of years, it’s been a little bit more of a struggle for Pablo from the right side. But (after) the work he’s put in this winter, just watching him in BP — and now live BP, against some good velocity — he’s getting himself in a better position to hit.”
Sandoval historically has been a switch hitter, but largely abandoned the practice last season due to injuries. Thanks to his offseason work, he’s back in a position to contribute from either side of the plate.
“Pablo reports to camp at a certain place physically,” Farrell explained. “(But) it doesn’t stop, the work continues, and he, like every player, has needs and we’ll continue to work on them.
“He’ll swing at just about anything. Whether it’s BP, whether it’s in games, he’s an aggressive hitter. And I think to me, when Pablo’s swinging aggressively (it means) he feels good physically. And that’s the case here today.”
A healthy, aggressively-swinging Pablo Sandoval will do wonders for the middle of Boston’s lineup and should go a long way toward its ultimate goal of a 2016 World Series championship.
Thumbnail photo via Jonathan Dyer/USA TODAY Sports Images