Pablo Sandoval will begin the Boston Red Sox’s season on the bench after losing his third base job to Travis Shaw, but president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski hasn’t experienced any problems with the veteran since the decision.
“He has not (expressed dissatisfaction) to me, no,” Dombrowski told reporters, via WEEI.com’s Ken Laird. “All of his comments in the paper have been great. I also think he wants to be in a position when he gets in the lineup that he produces and puts up some numbers.”
Dombrowski added that he hadn’t spoken with Sandoval’s agent, Rick Thurman, who was critical of the team’s decision to bench his client, but that he’d “be happy to meet with him.” Sandoval said his agent’s headline-grabbing remark — which likened the slugger to a Ferrari being kept in a garage — was “his comment, not mine.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell also spoke at length about Sandoval’s exclusion from the Opening Day lineup, stressing the decision was not based on a lack of effort on the infielder’s part.
“Even going back to seeing him in person in January, he’s worked hard,” Farrell told reporters. “While some things haven’t worked out as he envisioned in his preparation for spring training, he’s been accountable, he’s been stand-up, he’s got work to do as we all do. But, yeah, the fact that he speaks about our team, which is the most important thing for all of us here, that’s a positive sign.
“As long as Panda continues to put forth the effort that he has shown … this isn’t about a work ethic. I need to make that abundantly clear. It’s not about his ethic. But at some point, that work needs to translate, and as evident, the decision to go with Shaw at third base is there.”
Sandoval is entering the second season of a five-year, $95 million contract. He posted a .245/.292/.366 slash line with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs last season, his first with the Red Sox.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval