View single post by lobo316
 Posted: Sat Mar 4th, 2017 02:07 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: Raptorville
Posts: 45468
"Panda Watch" has been front and center so far this spring, and among those impressed with Pablo Sandoval's new appearance is Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell.

"He’s shown more in the first week of games than he did all of last spring," Farrell said, according to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

"From plays he’s made defensively, the range he’s showing, the way he’s getting down the line. He’s not a base-stealer, we know that. But he’s much more athletic. His at-bats have been much more consistent. This is like we have a much different player this year compared to last."

While it's true Sandoval won't ever be a threat on the bases, his approach to training and new-found dedication to losing weight has left many hoping it will lead to his best season in years.

After a lost 2016 campaign, a much slimmer Panda is the favorite to win the Red Sox everyday third base job after the team dealt incumbent Travis Shaw to Milwaukee.

So far, so good, particularly at the plate, where Sandoval has five hits in Boston's first few spring games.

"Granted it’s early in camp and we’re dealing with mostly fastballs in a lot of situations," Farrell said. "But the fact that he was searching for that right-handed swing before, now he feels like a more confident hitter overall and certainly from the right side. I think a lot has to do with just his body. It’s allowed the swing to be repeated. It’s more aggressive and the bat path is much more consistent."