Boston Red Sox 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval finally returns from rehab stint and shines in first game back – is DH his new spot?
When Dustin Pedroia was placed on the disabled list, the ensuing move was to bring Pablo Sandoval back up from Pawtucket. The moans and groans were surely heard from all fans as I too once used to be a firm believer in giving the Kung Fu-less Panda a 3rd chance. Then he did what he did this year and I said, “no, never again.” Then he did what he did tonight with a three hit performance.
Fewer things can be more frustrating for a team that has too many DH’s in their line up. Hanley Ramirez got the night off with Mitch Moreland at 1st base and Devin Marrero at the hot corner. That left the Panda to only bat. I’m okay with that situation. Ironically enough, Marrero committed his first error of the season manning the hot corner. I’d still take Marrero over Sandoval at 3rd base anyway.
Sandoval ended up going 3/4 with three singles, a run scored, and an RBI in rubber match between the Sox. The boys from Boston ended winning this one 4 – 1. His only other at bat led to a strike out. Honestly? I wasn’t expecting him to get more than a hit if that. Either way, it’s not clear what the game plan is moving forward. HanRam is still a bat you want in your line up. He’s got pop and when he’s hot, he’s hot. Moreland is going to continue playing first base for the foreseeable future. No question there. Sam Travis figures to be the back up for him if anything arises.
That leaves the question of what to do with 3rd base. Marrero had a great little streak. I think John Farrell will give him a chance to make some noise. I sincerely hope that his two homer game wasn’t just a fluke. That being said, we’re left with the issue of who should be starting? Sandoval is owed $19 million for this season and I think the Sox want to see what else he can do in order to earn the rest of his contract in it’s entirety.
If Sandoval and Marrero can continue to light up, Farrell is going to actually have a hard time fitting everyone into the line up. At the end of next season, there are going to be some very interesting contract situations. I’m both nervous and looking forward to it. For now, we’ll continue focusing on the present and hope that the Red Sox can continue on their torrid streak of eight wins in their last ten games.
Photo Credit – AP Photo