02/04/11 9:30 PM EST
Sandoval sticking with strict routine
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
"I don't want to say, but I lost a lot," he said. "Wait until Feb. 19 when the scale is there."
He has adopted the dining habits followed by world-class athletes and weight-control zealots, eating five meals per day -- featuring vegetables and protein, with none being particularly heavy."I feel like I'm using Andres Torres' body right now," Sandoval said, referring to the sleek Giants center fielder. Training at Triple Threat Performance in Tempe, Ariz., enabled Sandoval to work with O'Brien three days per week, running in the morning and lifting weights in the afternoon. The Olympic gold medal winner has led Sandoval up the peak near Arizona State University that's emblazoned with the "A" near the top. Sandoval freely admitted that he has left the contents of his stomach in that vicinity several times. "If you quit, you're a loser," Sandoval said, relating one of O'Brien's exhortations. "That's what he told me every day." Sandoval also has worked with Greg Oliver, one of Bonds' trainers when the all-time home run leader was with the Giants. Oliver put Sandoval in touch with Bonds, who offered simple hitting advice: Look for a pitch that you could hit as if you were throwing a punch. That prompts Sandoval to use his hands more. Though Sandoval has been working on his defense at the Giants' Minor League complex with Jose Alguacil, the organization's roving infield instructor, he has hit less this offseason than ever. The switch-hitter went an unprecedented two months without swinging a bat. Now Sandoval's typical eagerness to take his cuts has returned.
"I feel like everything's fresh," he said.His teammates, gathered for Saturday's FanFest at AT&T Park, already have noticed. "Pablo had a rough time last year," right-hander Matt Cain said. "We all have our rough times. That's part of baseball. You find a way to do well, then you hit a wall and you have to find a way to get through it. He's done a great job of taking on that challenge. He looks great now. He's feeling excited. You can see the energy that he's bringing back. He looks like the Pablo that we saw a couple of years back." That's the mindset Sandoval intends to maintain. "I have to be the same Pablo Sandoval that got called up to the big leagues, working hard, coming from nowhere to do the things I can do," he said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.