Boston Red Sox Third Baseman Pablo Sandoval Flashes Glove And Works Count In Rehab Start With The Pawtucket Red Sox
Sandoval was starting in his fifth rehab game on Friday night and his fourth rehab game playing third base. While the night wasn’t a run-away success for Sandoval, he still showed promise and looks closer to being ready for Boston.
Fielding Wasn’t A Picnic, But Sandoval Flashed The Leather When Needed
A ground ball by Casey Gillaspie lead to an Pablo Sandoval bobble in 2nd inning leads to erratic throw over the head of first basemen Matt Dominguez for an error. In the next fielding opportunity for Sandoval, DH Mike Marjama grounded out to the rehabbing Red Sox third baseman who tossed it over to first base for the out. The play however scored a run with the grounder driving in a runner from third and made it a 2-0 ball-game at the time.
Pablo Sandoval did not see another fielding opportunity until the top of the fifth inning when a scorcher from Marjama got hit right past Panda on the ground. After a failed diving stab at it by Sandoval, Pawtucket short-stop Mike Miller was able to snag the ball and hum it to Dominguez for the out, thus bailing out Sandoval.
Sandoval was not deterred by his early fielding woes though, in the top of the seventh inning Sandoval caught a hot liner from Bulls catcher Curt Casali, and then he immediately followed that up two-batters later by grabbing a hopping grounder from Jake Hager and threw it to Dominguez to get Kyle Kendrick out of the inning.
Another opportunity to flash the glove game in the top of the ninth with Sandoval ranging to his left to field a ground-ball which he threw hard and on target to Dominguez at first to end the inning.
On Paper, Panda’s Day At The Plate Wasn’t Ideal, But He Was Able To Work The Count On A Number Of Occasions
In first plate appearance Pablo Sandoval struck out swinging on a 96-mph from Blake Snell high up in the strike zone. Sandoval faced seven pitches in that at-bat and was able to work a full count before getting overpowered by the fastball.
Sandoval got his second plate appearance in the third inning where he face two pitches from Snell, after taking the first pitch that was a ball, Sandoval flew out to right fielder Shane Peterson in shallow right field.
Panda’s third plate appearance came in the bottom of the fifth inning, very much like his first at-bat, Sandoval was able to work the count full. Sandoval put the ball in play, but it turned out to be another routine fly-out, this time around to the left-fielder Jake Bauers.
Two innings later in the bottom of the seventh Sandoval got his fourth plate appearance, this time against Bulls reliever Jeff Ames. Ames being a right-handed-pitcher, forced Sandoval to switch to the left side of the plate after taking the first three at-bats as a right-handed batter. After fouling off the first two pitches, Sandoval struck out swinging for the second time in the game.
With Blake Swihart standing on first-base in the bottom of the ninth with two-outs Pablo had the chance to become a hero and save Pawtucket from entering extra innings. But very much like the first four at-bats, Sandoval failed to reach base and grounded out to the second base-man.
Pablo Sandoval’s Struggles Have Silver Linings
After going 0-5 Sandoval was pulled from the game after playing the first nine innings of the game. Sandoval failing to reach base isn’t a deciding factor into weather or not he is ready for Boston. He showed a good eye at the plate and hit the ball fairly well, unfortunately though the balls he hit were right at Bulls players.
Sandoval struggled at-times defensively, but overall he looked solid and made a number of good plays for Pawtucket. Sandoval is expected to be back in Boston soon, but he will likely finish out the weekend with Pawtucket before joining the Boston Red Sox on their trip to Chicago which is slated to start on Monday.