Boston Red Sox 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval has been struggling in recent rehab stint down in Pawtucket – cause for concern? Should they bring him back up?
There was clearly some indication of worry when the Red Sox went out and got Pablo Sandoval in free agency before the 2015 season started. His numbers were beginning to decline. Still Sox Management thought that this could have been the replacement for the ailing 3rd base spot on the diamond. Let’s not even talk about Travis Shaw, it still hurts.
The Panda had a minor league rehab stint which has so far lasted seven games and the results are not pretty. With a .160 batting average and just one RBI in 25 at bats, those results are similar to what the pitching numbers looked like for David Price if not worse. Price as we remember couldn’t get into the 4th inning in his two starts. What’s going on with Sandoval?
While three of our four hits have been doubles and he’s only struck out in 4 of his 25 at bats it’s as if his power has been completely zapped. His numbers are worse in AAA than they were when he was playing in Boston. They aren’t even close in comparison. What’s going on? Is his right knee still hurting? He’s also committed two errors in six games over at the hot corner.
Being a switch hitter has it’s benefits and maybe the Sox originally thought that if he can really power them in as a righty, it would justify the contract he got. Sandoval is 0/6 as a left in AAA and it’s possible that when that right knee comes up and lands back down that he just isn’t feeling comfortable. It kind of reminds me of Jackie Bradley Jr. when he came back from the disabled list, he just wasn’t 100% ready.
Comparing that to his righty numbers where he’s 4/19 hitting .211 with an RBI and three doubles. I’d be putting my money that he needs to rest his knee for a day or two. If that doesn’t work, he needs to seek another medical opinion because hitting .160 combined at AAA isn’t gonna cut it at the big league level. He’ll be dragging the team down as a major defensive and offensive liability.
Maybe 3rd base just isn’t he position for him anymore. Maybe the Red Sox should have considered moving him to 1st base or DH and have Hanley Ramirez switch off with him. Ramirez certainly can’t move fast enough to play short but where would that leave Mitch Moreland in this whole fracas? It just goes to show that getting Sandoval was a complete waste and probably will end up being a contract we have to eat up until he’s done in ’19.
What options do the Red Sox have at this point? Well, the Sox can either keep in AAA until he’s deemed ready to return. I’ll add that 3rd base hasn’t been a position of concern lately. Then, there’s the option of bringing him back up and then having to deal with the mess where an errant through could happen any moment. Then there’s the option that many Sox fans have thought about, place him on waivers and or give him his release.
I don’t think the Sox are going to want to get nothing back for him as anything at this point would be nice. Before his major injury in 2016, we almost had a trade partner in the San Diego Padres but that fell through. The Sox would have no doubt be required to send money for taking on his mega contract. Still that would have been a deal the Red Sox could have shed going forward.
What the Red Sox decide to do with him going forward is anyone’s guess but by the looks of how they handled the Price situation, they’ll wait a little while longer and then bring him back up to Boston.
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