For the first time in his professional career, Pablo Sandoval has entered into a spring training wearing gear that doesn’t have the San Francisco Giantslogo all over it.
It didn’t seem to throw the effervescent third baseman off his game.
“I kind of love it,” Sandoval said of the change, wearing a red Michael Jordan
hat and a big smile while meeting with the media Tuesday afternoon. “I’m getting used to it.”
Sandoval’s first day working out with his new teammates wasn’t anything out of the norm, first hitting with Hanley Ramirez
in the batting cage before heading out to the field, where he took batting practice off lefty BP pitcher Adrian Lorenzo.
There were also the plyometrics and sprints, executed with the other position players.
All the while, his brother, Michael, looked on, witnessing the results of the duo’s offseason labor.
Perhaps the most noteworthy tidbit Sandoval expressed when talking after the workouts was that he has focused almost exclusively on hitting from the right side this offseason.
“I just started hitting left-handed last week,” the switch-hitter noted. ‘I think it will be a good challenge for me.”
The challenge will be for Sandoval to improve upon the sizable gap between his batting averages hitting from the left and right sides. Against lefty pitchers in 2014, he only hit .199, compared to a .317 average when hitting left-handed.
For his career, Sandoval is batting .304 vs. righty pitching, and .274 against left-handers. In last season’s postseason, however, he did hit .300 from the right side (and .377 as a lefty batter).
“It’s not how you start,” he said, ‘it’s how you finish.