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New and Improved--Pablo Sandoval, 3B

Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. uk_sox_fan

    uk_sox_fan Member SoSH Member

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    542
    To be fair 3 of his 5 HRs were against actual honest-to-God MLB starters (Nola, Snell and E Sanatna). Ok, not the best MLB starters but two 4/5 types and weak 1/2.

    The other two came off a pair of Twins' NRIs.
     
  2. pokey_reese

    pokey_reese Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    For sure, and I don't want to say that seeing him at least be healthy enough to hit the ball over the fence isn't a good thing, just that in a relatively small sample size, the numbers we expect to be most meaningful are the ones that look the least promising. Still, it's better than seeing him have a .100/.250/.350 spring, in terms of just hoping that his shoulder feels better.
     
  3. Rovin Romine

    Rovin Romine Johnny Rico Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    He's only had 10 at bats against lefties this spring, 2 hits, 1HR, 1 walk, 3K. I haven't seen any of those ABs, but he appears able to swing from that side of the plate. His bats against RH have been great (1.143 OPS).

    While we can't predict based on a SSS, we can at least observe general ability based on the results. Pablo seems to be able to physically do the 3B job, and physically able to hit, certainly against RHP, maybe/maybe not against LHP. The fielding reports have been positive. Both weight and shoulder seem to be non-factors at this point.
     
  4. uncannymanny

    uncannymanny Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    2,998
    Let's shut down all baseball threads until we get to the regular season where guys face only 1/2s in large samples. Any discussion until then is meaningless.
     
  5. charlieoscar

    charlieoscar lurker

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    415
    I recall there being a site that gave spring training stats that were weighted by the average level from the previous year of the pitcher (batter) faced but I cannot remember who does/did that. Does anyone know?
     
  6. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

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    I don't believe anyone should have an issue with the quotation of spring training stats as long as the context is understood or implied.

    Consider Sandoval: 3 less K's and his K rate would be at his career norms. Another walk or two and his BB rate would not be that far off his career average of 7%. And it's probably not unexpected that his K/BB rates be subpar given this spring is the first time he has seen live hitting in a year (that's a testable hypothesis, but I don't have the time to compile the data and test it right now).

    The 5 HR's and 6 doubles are encouraging signs for a guy that looked totally cooked last spring. Of course, Papi was even worse with a 0.465 OPS during his final round of Grapefruit League action. I think we can safely assume we have no idea how to predict Sandoval's 2017 performance; but at least he's looked healthy and at least competent in the field.
     
  7. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    He's also tearing the cover off the ball so he's probably being more aggressive at the plate. Not to mention he missed all of last year so he's probably a bit eager/trigger happy. We'll see if he starts drawing more walks when he's hitting .285 instead of .350. If he hits over .300, the walks won't matter anyway. If he's hitting his career .287, the walks won't really matter much. Pablo's production is largely tied into his batting average. The uptick in power is nice to see this ST though. If he's closer to the .194 ISO he showed in his first 4 seasons than the .138 he's shown the last 4, it will help immensely.
     
  8. leftfieldlegacy

    leftfieldlegacy Member SoSH Member

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    And is there anyone on this board who wouldn't have signed up for this in a heartbeat at this time last year. I'm happy to see Sandoval having a great spring. I think all or almost all of his problems including the weight issues stemmed from the injured shoulder. The surgery was successful and it's clear he busted his ass in rehab to get to this point. Let's hope it continues into the regular season.
     
  9. ToeKneeArmAss

    ToeKneeArmAss Paul Byrd's pitching coach Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    2,935
    Seconded. I was never a fan of the signing and it only got worse from there, but even I am impressed by Pablo's spring and his apparent commitment to performing at a higher level. Go Panda!
     
  10. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    I endorse your sentiments in general, but this puzzles me. How does an injured shoulder make you gain weight? If it was an injured knee I could see it.
     
  11. Bosoxen

    Bosoxen Bounced back Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Considering he's someone who has a history of weight issues, it's really not hard to see how even a minor upper body injury could manifest itself in weight gain. Doesn't take long to develop crappy eating habits.
     
  12. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    But why would an upper body injury make crappy eating habits more likely? I don't get the connection. It doesn't take any more arm strength to lift a kale salad to your mouth than a banana split.
     
  13. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    People will use any type of pain or discomfort to be lazy.
     
  14. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

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    IIRC, Sandoval showed up to spring training last year out of shape and overweight, despite a subpar season in the field in 2015. He was brutal in the field at 3B, and then early in the regular season was found to have had the shoulder injury. Now, his weight issues may have contributed to the shoulder injury, but I'm not sure the converse is correct.
     
  15. Bosoxen

    Bosoxen Bounced back Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I can't speak for Sandoval but for me there's a subconscious connection between exercise and eating right. When I'm exercising on a regular basis, I watch what I eat and I can maintain my weight with little problem. If I stop working out (like when I injured my back and needed surgery), I'm far less mindful about what I eat and I can gain weight fairly quickly.

    In other words, it's a psychological thing.
     
  16. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    Eating disorders (or whatever Sandoval has that might not be a literal disorder) aren't really about that.
    It seems reasonable to think that when a player's physical ability is compromised, his already questionable dietary / in shape-i-tude ability will also be impacted.


    EDIT: I thinks its pretty clear that his shoulder was fucked up before spring training 2016.
     
  17. Comebacker to Foulke

    Comebacker to Foulke lurker

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    "I recall there being a site that gave spring training stats that were weighted by the average level from the previous year of the pitcher (batter) faced but I cannot remember who does/did that. Does anyone know?"

    BBref.com had them last year IIRC, but now I can't seem to find any 2017 Spring section at all.
     
  18. leftfieldlegacy

    leftfieldlegacy Member SoSH Member

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    I didn't mean for it to come across that literally. I was thinking more along the lines of an eating disorder where Sandoval used food as a source of comfort to deal with the anxiety and even depression that could occur when a professional athlete (or anyone for that matter) has an injury that prevents him from performing at a level that he expects of himself.
     
  19. BaseballJones

    BaseballJones goalpost mover SoSH Member

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    Spring training means nothing, yada yada yada.

    Pablo: .339, 5 hr, 20 rbi

    Just how encouraged should I be? I think it's impossible for anyone to convince me that he's going to put up a .320, 25 hr, 90 rbi season, but can someone convince me that he'll quite possibly put up a line of .290, 18 hr, and 80 rbi?

    Which, of course, I would sign up for in a nanosecond.
     
  20. Drek717

    Drek717 Member SoSH Member

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    We should be as encouraged as we can from the knowledge that he's basically healthy and in at least career norm levels of physical fitness.

    As a comparison, consider Sandoval's first year here. Until May 19th he had a .758 OPS composed of a slash line of: .270/.342/.416. Then a 94 mph fastball off the left knee happened, followed by the medical staff finding no real structural damage and him attempting to play through it, but falling behind the estimated timetable of the team just a few days later with a comment from Farrell about continued pain, limited range of motion, and less ability to plant or pivot on the leg.

    So a few weeks later his OPS has climbed from the mid-.600's where it descended after the knee injury back to .742, only to sprain his ankle, also on his left leg, in a game against the Royals on June 20th. Who knows if he ever actually recovered from them in 2015.

    Pablo is a big dude. Knee and ankle injuries tend to be problematic for big guys (speaking from personal experience). He had two on the same leg within a month and tried to play through both.

    A similar situation to the Hanley Ramirez shoulder injury of the same year, but instead of finding his focus that winter like Hanley did Sandoval basically checked out and came to camp for 2016 out of even his normal playing shape standards.

    A healthy Pablo Sandoval could likely give us what we were starting to see in 2015, a mid-.700's OPS with roughly average 3B defense. Better than what we've gotten at 3B in a while I guess, but before we get too optimistic what happens if another mid-90's fastball catches his knee again?
     
  21. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    But you can ask that question about anybody. Injury is an equal-opportunity specter; it haunts every player.
     
  22. In my lifetime

    In my lifetime Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Equal opportunity may be true about the type of injury you were commenting on ---- a fastball to the knee. However, I am not breaking any new ground pointing out that in general an out of shape or older athlete is much more prone to an injury than an athlete who is younger and in shape.
     
  23. soxhop411

    soxhop411 Member SoSH Member

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    28,118
    Who says Sandoval and speed don't go together?

    Pablo Sandoval's speed sparks Red Sox in Opening Day win
     
  24. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    True, I should have noted that I was specifically talking about "act of god" kinds of injuries like HBP, collisions, etc.
     
  25. Soxfan in Fla

    Soxfan in Fla Member SoSH Member

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    4.1 or 3.9 to first is motoring for someone Pablo's size. I'm encouraged by how hard he has worked. If he stays healthy I think we can get a solid season out of him. .280 15 HRs and 75 RBI's would be a solid season for him.
     
  26. The Gray Eagle

    The Gray Eagle Member SoSH Member

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    If he really got down the line in 4.1, that is faster than a lot of slimmer teammates.
    I wonder if he could beat Pedroia in a race down the line to first. That would be pretty hilarious if he could.
     
  27. phenweigh

    phenweigh Member SoSH Member

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    Roll us both down a mountain and I'm sure the fat man would win.
     
  28. Al Zarilla

    Al Zarilla Member SoSH Member

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    Drop him alongside a feather in a vacuum and they'd hit the ground at the same time.
     
  29. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    There is not love enough in a century of Valentine's Days for this.

    It's pretty astounding he can go that fast. He's still pretty young and he's got a strong lower body, but still.

    It's interesting in this context to note that he has never been in the top 10 among MLB 3B in Fangraphs' "Speed" metric in any season, and hasn't been in the top 15 since 2010. So if he's really that fast, it suggests that he's also pretty bad at baserunning.
     
  30. Sprowl

    Sprowl Mikey Lowell of the Sandbox Dope

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    27,802
    Sandoval certainly has quick twitch reflexes over the first few feet, maybe even the first 90 feet. I doubt he'd keep it up over two bases or more, though. He's like an enormous Pedroia: quick, but not fast.
     
  31. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    He has only reached those combined numbers once in his career, way back in 2009. I think it would be a heck of a lot better than a solid season for him to do that.
     
  32. Minneapolis Millers

    Minneapolis Millers Member SoSH Member

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    Even batting lefty, the only way Panda is getting to first in 3.9 seconds is if they're not starting the stopwatch until he's a step outside the batter's box. I mean we're gullible Sox fans, but we're not that gullible. 4.1? That's on the edge of believable.

    Early results, though, look promising. Hoping he stays healthy and dietically conscientious.
     
  33. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Meh. His 162 game career average comes out to .287/19/83. He's hit .278 or better in 5 of his 7 full seasons and 13+ HRs in 5 of his 7 full seasons with the other 2 seasons being 10 and 12. The RBI totals are keeping him out but moving from SF to Boston will make a huge difference.

    Predicting RBI totals seems stupid anyway. If he hits .285, he's going to be fine offensively. If he hits .240, he's going to suck. His 2015 would fit right in line with the rest of his career had he hit .280 instead of .245.

    If he puts up .280/.320/.400 with close to 500PA, I'm happy. Since his career mark is .287/.339/.451, it seems doable.
     
  34. nvalvo

    nvalvo Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I'm more worried about him swinging through so many fastballs in the zone on opening day: four. Now, Pittsburgh has a good pitching staff, but Sandoval used to be able to handle elite fastballs.

    His zone contact has never been elite (Pedroia routinely posts Z-Contact numbers in the low 90s, but he also swings at fewer strikes), but has been good (mid-high eighties).

    Of course, it's just one game, but it's something to keep an eye on.
     
  35. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    Could just be an early season thing. I wish Fangraphs gave us plate discipline numbers in their splits tool, but FWIW, for the past four seasons (back to 2014, so mostly just 2014-15), Pablo's K rate has been dramatically higher in April than overall -- 19.9% to 14.1%. This effect is absent for the 2009-13 period. So it seems that as he gets older, it takes longer for his approach and timing to settle in at the start of the year.
     
  36. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    OPS now over 700. Savor the moment.
     
  37. Saints Rest

    Saints Rest Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    How has his defense been for those of you who are able to watch the games regularly?
     
  38. TeddyBallgame9

    TeddyBallgame9 Member SoSH Member

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    Zero range, stone hands, wildly inaccurate throws. He's pretty awful.
     
  39. dhappy42

    dhappy42 Member

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    This.

    Although wildly undisciplined at the plate, he's hitting the ball hard and his .225 BA is depressed by a low BABIP. The Herald's Mastrodonato writes on this today:

    http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/...val_ripping_liners_but_hardly_any_falling_for

    But his fielding has been pretty bad, worse than his three errors so far this season suggest.
     
  40. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    He started a nifty double play in a key situation over the weekend.
     
  41. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    With his ST and start this year, I'm not really worried about his bat anymore. I wish I could say the same about his defense. He's been hitting the ball hard since ST and seems to be a bit lucky so far. Outside of 2015, he's proven to be a .275-.280 hitter so a return to a .150+ ISO would be great. His 5 year ISO from 2011-2015 --> .237, .164, .139, .136, .121.

    I have more confidence he'll be around .275/.325/.430 now then I did before the start of the season. Of course, he's on pace for -3.6 DWAR and he'd have to hit like 2009 or 2011 Pablo to overcome that. With Hanley and Moreland, he's kinda stuck at 3b too. It'll be interesting to see what the Redsox do if Pablo is mashing but can't play a passable 3rd base.
     
  42. luckysox

    luckysox Eeyore Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    Yeah, he's bad at 3rd. I expected no range and stone hands to some extent. I cannot stomach the abysmal throws. That one last night...what in the hell?
     
  43. Average Reds

    Average Reds Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Shocked to find out that he's only been charged with three errors. I feel like he's had more than this in just the five or so games I've watched.
     
  44. MikeM

    MikeM Member SoSH Member

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    Nothing in the short term would be my guess given the fact that non-passable defense was always, by far, the most likely outcome going in to this season with Pablo as your guy there.

    If DD wasn't going to make the concession before, Pablo actually managing to hit at a somewhat decent clip isn't going to change that imo. After all, good bat and bad glove was the better case scenario here to begin with. You take the bad with the good.
     
  45. Al Zarilla

    Al Zarilla Member SoSH Member

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    Begs the question: how about bad each of fielding and hitting?
     
  46. chawson

    chawson Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

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    Slightly obnoxious because he's not quite good enough a hitter to be a full-time DH on this or any team.

    The Sox are first in the AL in OBP (2nd overall), last in K%, last in home runs. Some of that is a function of the flu, I think, but power is still not a strong suit post-Papi.

    It's too early to talk about a trade, but Todd Frazier's stock seems super low. Barring injury, it looks like only we and the Mets could have a need for him among contenders. Frazier's overrated, getting worse, and gives me some real Jason Bay vibes, but he'd be an interesting fit on this team.

    Not that I know what we'd do with Panda.
     
  47. dhappy42

    dhappy42 Member

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    Mitch Moreland is on a one-year deal. Maybe they move Panda to 1st next year in a platoon with Sam Travis.
     
  48. MikeM

    MikeM Member SoSH Member

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    Moreland also makes $5m, and it's not like free agency is forking out the big bucks lately to mid tier options in that area.

    A sunk cost shouldn't have that type of impact on this team if/when a worthwhile upgrade can be had at a somewhat minimal cost. If you cut bait on Panda as a 3rd baseman completely, you cut bait period.
     
  49. dbn

    dbn Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I thought I heard somewhere (here, or maybe on a recent broadcast) that Pablo dislikes playing first and after being injured playing it for SF said he doesn't want to do it again. Or am I misremembering?
     
  50. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, I think it's a slim chance that Sandoval will ever play 1B for the Red Sox. An emergency situation like his playing 2B last night, maybe. Beyond that, I don't see it regardless of his feelings on the matter. If he hits like he is now, they'll tolerate the defense at third for a couple more years. If he isn't, they'll cut bait.
     

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