This week I waited a little longer for my third progress report update. Pablo Sandoval had only played in 4 MLB Spring Training games since my last update and frankly things were not looking good as he was only hitting .200 going into Monday’s game against the Kansas City Royals. Sometimes good things come to those who wait.
An article last week by Andre Baggarly of CSN Bay Area reported that conditioning was tiring Pablo out before Spring Training games in this article here about Pablo’s struggles. After an offseason in which Pablo didn’t play winter ball back home in Venezuela, perhaps that was the reason his timing was off. Whatever the reason may be, it was decided the Giants needed Pablo to get more at bats. They sent him to play in a Minor League Spring Training game Friday so he could get an at bat every inning.
Perhaps that stint did the trick because the Panda put together his best game hitting this spring against the Royals. A single in the first off of starter RHP Luis Mendoza and a double in the eighth off of RHP Aaron Crow got Pablo to 2-4 on the day. With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and Justin Christian on third, the count reached 3-2. On the sixth pitch of the at bat Pablo belted the pitch from reliever RHP Greg Holland over the fence in right-center, a walk off homer to win the game.
Besides going 3-5 with 2 Runs and 2 RBI, Pablo had a great at bat in a clutch situation off a tough pitcher. Holland had a great year in 2011 against batters from both sides of the plate as you can see here.
Here are Pablo’s numbers through Monday with a slight increases to his batting average and OPS from last week.
Defensively, Pablo stayed on par with yet another error during the week all while maintaining his Range Factor of 2.00.
The season quickly approaches and each week I think it is do or die time for Pablo Sandoval as a hitter to get things going. While I would like to surmise as in previous weeks that Pablo is about to turn his spring around I will instead work on finalizing my 2012 projections for him and just see what the Panda does in these coming days.
by Raul Rekow Jr