Pablo Sandoval has been decent at the plate since rejoining the Giants this season, looking much more confident than he ever did as a member of the Boston Red Sox. The Panda had his most impressive at-bat of the season on Sunday night, hitting a towering upper deck home run, his first with San Francisco, off Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
Unsurprisingly, the blast came from the left side of the plate, which is really the only side the switch-hitting Sandoval is having success at these days. The splits are staggering. Sandoval’s line from the left side this season is a respectable .242/.290/.434. From the right-side, however, he’s an anemic .120/.154/.120 in 25 at-bats. This isn’t just a recent trend either. For his career, Sandoval’s OPS from the left side (.831) is over 150 points higher than when he hits right handed (.674).
At this point, according to Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow, Sandoval should no longer be a switch-hitter.
“Yeah I wouldn’t let him take at-bats right handed at all,” Krukow told Murph & Mac on Monday morning. “The more that he sees left-handed breaking balls as a left-handed hitter, I think the better off he’s going to be. I just don’t see any threat whatsoever from the right side. Whatsoever. I just think when you have the ability to hit a ball 115 mph, utilize that strength.
“You know what’s interesting about the whole thing is he’s naturally left handed. So at the time he learned to switch hit, that wasn’t his deal, that wasn’t his natural side. And I think now he just doesn’t see the ball from that right side. But the bat speed…I don’t think he’s capable of hitting a ball 115 mph from the right side. Well he is from the left side — let him do it. We’ve seen him try to do it as a Giant. They’ve gone down this road with him, and I just think he should completely commit to hitting to one side and a lot of his problems will be solved.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Kruk’s comments on Sandoval skip to the 11:30 mark.