Pablo Sandoval’s fluctuating weight was a consistent topic of discussion during his first stint in San Francisco from 2008-2014. That storyline reared its head again this weekend, when photos began to circulate of Sandoval at spring training 2.0 that appeared to show a bigger version of the third baseman than we saw last year.
Pablo Sandoval is taking grounders at third base. His throws appear to have good carry. pic.twitter.com/Lrk5ltofyl
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 4, 2020
The photo above went viral, and led to Pablo’s new manager, Gabe Kapler, to be questioned on the fitness of Sandoval. Kapler rejected that Sandoval’s weight should be a storyline, especially considering his role on the team as a spot starter and pinch hitter.
“Pablo’s role on this team is to do what he has done over the course of the last couple days, and what he has done for this city and this community in the past, and that is to bring positive energy, get big hits, drive the baseball, and those are still the things we believe he is capable of doing,” Kapler said.
“Already in this short period of time, he’s demonstrated it. I have a lot of empathy for Pablo and what it must be like to be dealing with this kind of scrutiny, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”
Sandoval is currently listed at 268 pounds. Kapler believes that Sandoval is healthy at that weight.
“I think what we’re always looking for: Is Pablo able to do the things necessary for him to be a good baseball player?” Kapler said. “I think it’s understandable that in today’s world we focus on weight. I get it. In this particular case, what we’ve all noticed about Pablo is the ball’s jumping off his bat and his throws have nice carry.
“He’s demonstrated that he’s healthy and that’s the most important thing. He’s not going to bat leadoff for us. The expectation with Pablo Sandoval is he slugs. He drives the baseball. He’s a good DH candidate for us. He’s got nice soft hands, and all of those things are present in camp, and those are the things that we’re going to be focusing on.”