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Pablo Sandoval was an impact hitter prior to his injury
Pablo Sandoval was off to a very good start when he went on the DL with a broken bone in his hand. He was hitting .316 with five home runs and 15 RBI. His OBP was .375 and OPS was .912.
The Giants have missed his bat in the lineup, but Joaquin Arias has filled in admirably, especially on defense. Sandoval is on a rehab assignment in Fresno and is due back early next week.
There are two issues surrounding Sandoval's return, neither of which is good. First, he is being questioned on a sexual assault charge, stemming from an incident in Santa Cruz, which allegedly occurred at around 4 a.m.
At the time, Sandoval was on a rehab assignment in San Jose and scheduled to play later that night. The investigation is still underway. The one thing I can state is that Sandoval should not be out at 4 a.m. when he is just beginning a rehab assignment.
Sandoval has also put on a lot of weight since he went on the DL. Already big at the start of the season, Sandoval is even bigger and that has not made the Giants' brass happy.
In 2010, when Sandoval gained a lot of weight, he had his worst season at the plate, hitting only .268. He was also too big and slow to be an effective third baseman. He was a major liability on defense. As the season progressed into the playoffs, Sandoval found himself on the bench more often than not.
I partially fault the Giants for not monitoring his weight more closely. They could have had him working with a trainer and nutritionist on a daily basis to ensure that he stayed in reasonable shape.
The issue is one of maturity and self-discipline. Sandoval should not be putting himself in a situation where he can be placed in a compromising position. He should also be able to have the discipline to stay in shape and not allow his weight to balloon up.
One of the endearing qualities of Sandoval is that he displays a youthful exuberance and is having fun on the field. However, he also needs to learn some self-discipline off the field.