Sandoval hopes for rebound in 2016
Pablo Sandoval arrived at Red Sox camp today, two days before reporting date for position players. He is excited to turn the page and start fresh after a highly-disappointing first season in Boston.
At first, Sandoval said he had nothing to prove. Interestingly, he gave the exact opposite answer later in the near nine-minute session with reporters.
“No, I don’t got nothing to prove. I just prepare myself to perform well, for my teammates to perform well, to try to get to the World Series. That’s what I’m doing. I put some goals in my mind, and I’m working hard to get it done on the field.”
And here is what he said the second time he was asked if he had something to prove.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m going to prove to the fans, to my teammates that I can be a better defensive player, offensive player to win games. I have to work hard to get to that moment. Keep working hard, keep your head up and do everything you can do on the field.”
Is Sandoval motivated to erase the bitter taste of last year?
“Real motivated. I just want to be one thing to my teammates, performing well and trying the best that I can performing out there and try to get my team to the World Series. That’s’ my goal.”
Manager John Farrell had said in January that Sandoval lost 20 to 22 pounds. But Sandoval was evasive when asked about his weight.
“I don’t weigh. I don’t weigh in at all. I just do my work and try to do everything I can. I don’t weigh in all offseason. I just tried to get better and be in better position like I said and and be an athlete.”
Did the Red Sox tell him to lose weight going into the offseason?
“Nope,” Sandoval said.
However, Sandoval did talk about improving his condition.
“After the season was over for me, when I was sick with pneumonia. I got the clearance to start working out in October. I started working out to prepare myself to be an athlete on the field. That’s what I did. I don’t’ try to lose weight, I don’t try to do nothing. I just try to put in my work and feel better and do the things I can do on the field to get better out there. That’s what I did.”
Was last year a disappointment?
“It’s not a disappointment. It’s baseball. It’s a surprise. You’re not going to have the whole season great. You’re going to have some ups and downs. You have to prepare yourself to be ready for when those down moments come, shake it off and you work hard to do everything you can do to prove next year you can be better than that. Like I said, It was a tough, tough year, but it’s in the past, and now I’ll prepare myself to be better and be in a better position this year.”
What went wrong in 2015?
“Bad moments. For me, bad moments. It was up and downs during the season, but you have to prepare yourself, put your mind in the right spot to be better.”
As John Farrell said a couple of days ago, Sandoval will resume switch hitting after giving it up righty last May.
“I’ve been working out all offseason just righthanded. I didn’t hit left-hadned at all. I’m focused on that. I’m trying to get my confidence back. That was one of the things I lost last year — my confidence. Now I’ve got my confidence back, and I’m going to taste it again.”
It was noted to Sandoval that his numbers have spiraled downard the last four years.
“I don’t worry about numbers. I worry about wins. You can see all the years that my numbers went down and how many championships I’ve got. That’s what I worry about.”
Sandoval admits he lost his confidence.
“If you don’t have that, if you don’t feel confident at home plate from the right side, you’re not going to trust your swing, and you’re going to put pressure on you so that’s what I did.”
How hard was that? “Hard. Hard because it is the moment when you lost that confidence to perform well. You put in that spot but what am I going to do? What’s the next step? That’s what I’m working the offseason to try to shake it up and work hard and get my confidence back. that’s what I did right now, I feel great. I’ve been working hard to be a better right-handed hitter so that’s what I did.”