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Sighting on Saturday, 16 April at Fenway
Park, Sandoval injury does not prevent
him from wearing backpack and
gesturing with left arm...
Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

Imagine you are an established Major League Baseball player.

You are going into your ninth season having played only one position, third base.

You have made MLB All Star team twice as a third baseman.

You have made the postseason three times, every single time resulting in a new World Series ring.

You also were a World Series MVP and have raked during the postseason like no other, sporting a .344 BA, a .389 OBP, a .545 SLG and a .935 OPS.

This was all done with the San Francisco Giants, so when you hit free agency in after winning the 2014 World Series it was fun to watch the teams fight for you. It came down to the Padres, Giants and Red Sox. While the Padres and Giants offered more money, you chose for the Red Sox at 5 years, $95 million dollars.

Fast forward through a 2015 season to forget where Pablo Sandoval is one of the worst third basemen in all of baseball and dealing with weight problems. He is sent into the offseason to get better, lose weight and report to Spring Training for a new start to the 2016 season.

What shows up is not an improved player looking to turn around a bad season.


Sandoval ends up losing his starting position at third base and is owed $77.4 million dollars for the rest of this contract from the beginning of 2016 season. You can only imagine how he must feel during this fall from grace. No professional athlete can be expected to take something like this with grace and style.

It has to be the worst place you can be in, seemingly with no quick fix, but maybe going on the 15-day disabled list last week for a strained left shoulder is a way out. The only question is what is going on with this injury, as it has only sparked an array of conspiracy theories around Sandoval.

Injured or not?

The shoulder injury came on very suddenly and is strange in that Sandoval is not playing the field very much. He has only appeared in three games and mostly as a pinch hitter. The plot thickens when we listen to Sandoval explain it.

"Before yesterday, I didn't feel nothing weird," Sandoval said. "This morning, I woke up and I couldn't even move my arm. Something happened. We'll see what's going on later when the doctor gets here."

It gets stranger by the day as Sandoval was sent to Dr. Andrews, but was unable to be examined. Last week at Fenway after the game, I was surprised to see Sandoval leaving the players clubhouse in an animated discussion with someone (see photo above) while gesturing with both arms while wearing a backpack. He climbed into a large vehicle which he did not drive and left Fenway Park.

Later reports surfaced that Sandoval might be headed for surgery on his left shoulder, but without a real examination being possible so far it is hard to imagine what that suggestion is based on?

Deeper issues

In even more twists and turns, a story surfaced from one of the previous offseason trainers of Sandoval, Ethan Banning, who stated that he is convinced Sandoval is dealing with an eating disorder that will need to be addressed. The question is, does the disabled list stint for a shoulder injury mean he is going to try and step out of the spotlight that is the Boston media market to deal with his illness?

Whatever the problem, Sandoval is in a pickle. More realistically the Red Sox are in a pickle. They own the massive contract that can't realistically be moved. Who wants a third baseman that is this bad.

Sandoval is now, as Carl Ravage put it on the ESPN Baseball Tonight podcast from 15 April 2016, "...he is going to go into hiding with a mystical shoulder injury." Buster Olney states also, "...he is not close to being a major league player right now."



Unable to trade him, unable to eat the contract, this disable list stint is a blessing for the Red Sox. At least they don't have to deal with him on a daily basis. Expect this sage to drag on and on. Expect a 60-day disable list stint and a long rehab. This is a long process if he does decide he has an eating problem and want to correct the weight issues.

There is no quick fix for Sandoval and no quick fix for the Red Sox.

Post a comment or via twitter @erics_redsox with your thoughts.

More by Eric D. Schabell

Eric D. Schabell 4/21/2016 11:00:00 AM Edit
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