06/24/09 10:06 PM ET
Controlling weight key to Sandoval's prowess
Third baseman exercises daily; success at dish noticeable
By Andrew Pentis / MLB.com
While his teammates were quietly grabbing their postgame grub and packing up for home after Monday's defeat, turning up the volume on the stereos and settling any unfinished business from their dominoes games after Tuesday's victory, Sandoval could be seen, win or lose, pushing one leg in front of the other on the exercise bike.
For the naturally fullback-sized Sandoval, that means headphones on ears and sweat pouring off his face, even after going 1-for-3 with an RBI double and playing nine innings at third base, as he did Tuesday. It's all a part of the routine to keep his playing weight static.
"I have to lose a couple pounds," Sandoval said in his easygoing tones, "but I feel great."
He's listed at 245, which isn't overly large, until you realize he's also listed at 5 feet, 11 inches tall. Here's another number for the stout Sandoval: .336. That's his batting average which, as of Wednesday, was tied for third among National League hitters, right in line with names like David Wright, Miguel Tejada and Carlos Beltran.
"This is my first complete year in the big leagues, so to see my name [there] is pretty exciting for me," Sandoval said. "I can't believe it. To put your name on that list is hard."
Sandoval was in the lineup again Wednesday, but at designated hitter for the second time this season. Turns out his skipper wouldn't mind it if Sandoval took it easy for a night.
"Pablo really needs to get off his legs," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's been out there every day."
While he would prefer to play third base, Sandoval said DH-ing would offer him a chance to scope out the Athletics' left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez, who has never faced the Giants. Sandoval is 23-for-58 against lefties this season and, in three words, described his approach for Wednesday night and beyond.
"See ball, swing," he said.
Because Sandoval is just 22 years old, he'll likely be around when another 240-pounder joins the lineup in San Francisco. The Giants announced Wednesday the signing of their third-round Draft pick from this month's First-Year Player Draft.
At 6 feet, 4 inches, Chris Dominguez is quite a bit taller than Sandoval, but if his college statistics are a fair barometer, he can hit, too. Dominguez batted .345 with 25 home runs and 82 RBIs in 64 games with Louisville last season. The right-handed batter will likely begin his professional career at Class A Salem-Keizer.
San Francisco has now signed 26 of its 50 draftees, including 10 of its first 15 selections.
Andrew Pentis is an associate reporter on MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.