Earlier today, while listening to KNBR, Larry Krueger touched base about Pablo Sandoval getting in shape. What?!? How is that possible? I haven’t heard anything about him. I’m even the biggest trade rumor nut on the planet! The last we heard about Pablo Sandoval was his name being tossed around on the trading block. As we all know, this is Sandoval’s last year before free agency. It’s a make it or break it year for him! I couldn’t live with myself knowing that others knew more than me so I decided to dig in. I took on the challenge of digging through every Venezuelan newspaper I could find. After digesting and translating countless articles, here’s what I learned.
According to the newspaper El Nacional, Pablo Sandoval is currently in Valencia, Venezuela. Unlike last year, Pablo Sandoval decided not to play for the Navigators of Magallanes of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. Instead, he is focused on his regiment. The San Francisco Giants are blunt about its expectation for Sandoval, and he is “respecting his contract with the Giants.” With the help of trainer Rafael Alvarez and Louis Sandoval, Pablo is looking to report to camp in the best shape of his professional career. Rafael Alvarez, also known as The Professor, was the personal trainer of Bob Abreu, Carlos Zambrano, and Jesus Montero. As well as working with the New York Mets, Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies. Louis Sandoval, Pablo’s older brother, is also onboard as his personal chef. He is responsible for Pablo’s diet and food preparation.
Rafael Alvarez describes his workout as “macro cycle and unconventional.” Its purpose is to improve speed, reaction, strength, flexibility, and endurance. Sandoval’s diet consists of protein and vegetables, while limiting carbohydrate intake. On a typical day, Pablo Sandoval is up by 5:30am and hits the gym twice a day. He later joins the Magallanes club for stretching and continues working out on the field when the team is home. When the Navigators’ travels, Sandoval works out at the hotel’s gym with the team and then heads to the field. As of now, Pablo Sandoval has dropped 22 pounds of body fat and flashes a six pack every now and then. El Nacional states that this past Friday, Pablo Sandoval crushed 20 or more balls in the stands of Jose Bernando Perez field during batting practice. Kung Fu Panda’s new training will not only be limited to the offseason, but continue all year round as Alvarez will travel with Pablo to San Francisco.
Earlier in November, Pablo Sandoval held a press conference where he addressed his weight issue and his workout plans. He even joked about wanting to steal 20 bases in the Majors, an old dream of his. A few days ago, Giant’s athletic trainer Dave Groeschner told the San Francisco Chronicle, “I would have preferred for him [Pablo] to stay at our facilities in Arizona, but I do not care where he is as long as he takes care of himself and returns to form.” And has he ever! I might have a little premature excitement but who can resist? Giants fans remember the 2011 Pablo Sandoval who showed up to camp 30 pounds lighter and finished the season with a .315/.357/.552 slash line, while blasting 23 home runs in 117 games. He also was snubbed by the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger committee. After an early roller coaster ride of a career, it seems as Pablo Sandoval is ready to maintain a healthy weight. With high expectations in San Francisco, the fan base is pulling for their beloved Kung Fu Panda. The entire franchise, and Sandoval himself, is sick of hearing about his weight issue. Will he live up to his superstar talent? Can he maintain a healthy weight? Is his time in San Francisco up? Only time will tell, but for certain, all eyes will be on Pablo Sandoval!