Fatigue not a factor for Giants' Sandoval
Slugger enters weekend with .226 average in September
LOS ANGELES -- Pablo Sandoval's statistics suggest that he's fatigued. But the man himself insisted Friday that he's merely enduring a temporary slump."I think it's the moment," Sandoval said. "One month you're going to be there; one month you're going to be quiet." The switch-hitter's bat has remained relatively silent lately. He entered the Giants' series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers hitting .226 (12-for-53) with no home runs and two RBIs in September. By contrast, Sandoval hit .307 in April, .309 in May, .394 in June, .298 in July and .355 in August. Logic dictates that Sandoval should be tired. He estimated that he has taken two weeks off since the beginning of last season. After playing 153 games for Class A San Jose, Double-A Connecticut and the Giants last year, Sandoval played 52 more games for Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League. He then participated in a physical conditioning camp for Giants Minor Leaguers shortly before Spring Training began. Nevertheless, Sandoval feels fresh. The 23-year-old attributed this partly to his mental outlook.
"I want to be there 100 percent every day," said Sandoval, who entered Friday leading San Francisco in batting average (.322), home runs (21) and RBIs (77). "When you put your mind like that, you're going to feel great."
Sandoval added that his postgame workouts, which include riding a stationary bicycle and exercising his core, have helped his stamina.Giants manager Bruce Bochy agreed with Sandoval, dismissing fatigue as a factor.
"I think as much as anything, he's getting a little anxious," Bochy said. "You start pressing a little bit, trying to do too much. We just have to get him back to being himself. He doesn't have to carry this ballclub. He's getting a little bit pull-conscious, I think. Relax and have some fun with this."Assuming the cleanup spot from Bengie Molina, an assignment that might unnerve some players, hasn't affected Sandoval. "I'm the same guy, whether I hit first, third, fourth, fifth," Sandoval said. Sandoval will opt for a less frenetic routine this offseason, however. He plans on spending more time with his family in Weston, Fla., and probably will play only about 20 games in winter ball.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.