Sandoval's conditioning continues to be problem


BOSTON -- It's unclear whether Pablo Sandoval's poor conditioning led to him being removed from the game after he suffered some hydration -- though that's a fairly logical assumption to make.

Two innings after Sandoval wheezed around the bases, thrown out trying to score from first to home on a ball that reached got past two White Sox outfielders and rolled to the bullpen wall, he was removed from the game, with the club citing "dehydration'' as the reason.

Second-guess, if you must, the decision to send Sandoval with no outs in a game in which the Red Sox were trailing by six runs. But John Farrell was right -- when a baserunner is more than halfway to  third as a ball is being picked up in deep right field, he should score.

Sandoval didn't and two innings later, he was out of the game.

Farrell clearly was uncomfortable talking about Sandoval's girth, noting vaguely that: "It continues to be addressed. I can't say tonight is a direct result of that, but there are ongoing efforts support that, to try to get him in the best shape possible.''

Farrell also acknowledged that weight is something Sandoval has "dealt with his entire career.''

Sandoval was overweight when he played in San Francisco. It alarmed the Giants at times, to the point that the team instructed the hotels at which they stayed to refuse any late-night room service orders from Sandoval.

Sandoval seemed to overcome his excess weight with the Giants. 

This year, his mobility at third seems reduced. Some scouts who watched him in San Francisco insist he's currently heavier than he's ever been; others contend he's no bigger than a year ago.

But this problem is likely only going to get worse. As Sandoval ages into his early 30s, excess weight will be an even bigger impediment to his play.

And whatever "ongoing efforts'' are being undertaken, they're clearly not working.

Porcello takes a step back 

Just when it seemed that Porcello had fixed things and benefitted from his work with catcher Ryan Hanigan, the righthander regressed in  a big way against the White Sox.

Porcello seemed unable to to make any in-game adjustments, couldn't correct a flaw that was forcing pitches up in the zone, and couldn't stop the hard contact being made.

It was widely known that Porcello pitches to contact when the Red Sox dealt for him. Three time in his carrer, he allowed 200 or more hits and once led the league in hits allowed.

But it's disconcerting, to say the least, to note that Wednesday night marked the third start this season in which Porcello has allowed double figures in hits.

In a ballpark like Fenway, where innings can snowball quickly and pitchers can unravel in a hurry, why was it a good idea to trade for a pitcher who allows so many baserunners?



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