Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed "Kung Fu Panda," has long drawn attention due to his weight. It rarely got in the way of his performance on the field, but Sandoval's first season of a five-year, $95 million deal with the Red Sox was the worst of his eight-year career.
In October, the team asked Sandoval to drop some weight, per Ricky Doyle of NESN.com.
As Red Sox manager John Farrell told CSN's Sean McAdam on Wednesday, Sandoval has made changes on the scale this offseason along with teammate Hanley Ramirez, who also struggled last year.
"Right now he's roughly 20 pounds lighter than the last game he played for us in 2015," he said. "I know for a fact that both guys (Sandoval and Ramirez) went into the offseason with some clear markers, with some clear goals to achieve from a physical standpoint. Both are doing that."
"I can tell you this—after meeting with Hanley, I spent another day or so with Pablo," Farrell said. "Pablo's extremely eager to get back. He feels like he's got to make amends for a year ago and is eager to do just that."
In 2015, Sandoval batted a career-low .245 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI. He had never batted below .268 in his seven years with the San Francisco Giants.
Sandoval, whom ESPN.com lists at 5'11", 255 pounds, looked like he wasn't near that number last season. He's lost weight before in his career, dropping 22 pounds during the 2013 season, per CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly.
Baseball fans will be able to see if the lost weight helps Sandoval regain his previous success at the plate soon enough, as teams will report to spring training in February. But it will be just as important for the third baseman to keep the weight off for an extended period of time and become a trustworthy presence at the hot corner.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.