Farrell claimed Sunday that Sandoval appeared to be less heavy than he was at the end of the 2015 season, when, in his first season in Boston, he batted a career-low .245 with a .658 OPS, plus 15 errors. “We feel like [the improved conditioning] will allow his range to be improved at third base, which is needed,” Farrell said (via the Boston Herald).
Whereas Farrell had said in January that Sandoval, along with teammate Hanley Ramirez, had been sent into the offseason with “clear goals to achieve from a physical standpoint,” Sandoval denied having been told to lose any weight. “I don’t weigh in all offseason,” he told reporters (via the Boston Globe). “I just try to get better, be in better position, be an athlete.”
Farrell attempted to clarify the instructions Sandoval had been given. “We told him we needed him to come back in better condition,” said the manager.
“Along with that, you anticipate there’s some potential for weight to be dropped,” Farrell continued (via the Globe). “But there wasn’t a specific number given where we said, ‘We want you to come in at this weight.’ With every exit interview we tell them these things.”
Of course, Red Sox fans are used to seeing David Ortiz in not exactly svelte shape, and that hasn’t stopped him from making a case for the Hall of Fame. But until Sandoval starts hitting like “Big Papi” at Fenway Park, his weight will remain very much a topic on conversation, especially in Boston.
Sandoval, 29, spent the beginning of his MLB career with the San Francisco Giants, going to two all-star games, before signing a 5-year, $95 million contract with the Red Sox in November 2014.