Pablo Sandoval, now with laser eyes!
I don't speak or read Spanish, but I am pretty sure this roughly translates to: "Can I get me some protection in the lineup?"
Third base might be the only position the Giants don't have to stress about in 2012. After Sandoval showed he was committed to his new fitness program, the Giants should have an everyday third basemen locked up for the foreseeable future.
What not to do
Let Pablo slack off on conditioning. This is going to be the Giants' task for the next few years. And it's a shame it will always come back to this, but that is the reality.
Everyone heard the stories about Pablo's personal life getting in the way of his baseball career. It was disheartening to see a guy slip professionally in the face of personal turmoil. But the plus side is, Pablo NEVER became a team distraction. The Giants cannot let him slip back into old habits.
And by slip, I mean eat. And by habits, I mean tacos.
Pablo Sandoval RBI total in 2012
What to do
Let Pablo the "baseball player" be. The Giants have taken a more aggressive approach to Pablo when it comes to his offseason habits, which is the right move.
Between the lines, though, the Giants should let Pablo be Pablo. He is a free swinger in the mold of Vladimir Guerrero, and that is where he is at his best. Pablo's approach at the plate makes him perfectly suited for the No. 4 or 5 spot in the batting order, both spots where RBI's are expected not walks. Yes, this is going to result in a higher number of double plays.
Who cares? Pablo should be the guy the Giants lean on in those situations.
What will happen
Here are Sandoval's projections:
.302/.357/.513 HR 24 RBI 92
Expect him to produce numbers like these for several years to come. And with his new laser surgery, expect me to make years worth of Cyclops jokes
Next: Right Field