If you're anything like me, you couldn't wait to see how Pablo Sandoval's success in Spring Training would translate to the regular season. The Panda was one of the better hitters on the team during the Spring, hitting .338 with 5 home runs and 20 RBI. And, combine that with the fact he looked to be in tremendous shape by his standards, and many had him as the early season front-runner to win AL Comeback Player of the Year, following a season where he went 0-6 in 2 games before missing the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury.
However, like in a lot of cases, Spring Training success doesn't really translate to how a player will perform in the regular season. Pablo Sandoval is just the latest example of that, as in 10 games this year he's hitting an anemic .132, including .125 with men in scoring position. The only real plus to Sandoval's start is that he has 2 home runs, and both have gone to the opposite field. He's been so bad that we've been getting a lot of looks at 24-year-old utility man, Marco Hernandez. Who, in 10 less ABs and 3 less games, has more hits than the 2x All-Star third baseman he's now competing with for playing time.
When I think of what the Red Sox should do with Sandoval, I look back to what Terry Francona did with, then rookie, Dustin Pedroia in 2007. Pedroia was hitting around .150 in the middle of May, and they stuck with him and let him figure it out. The result? Well, he won the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year Award, as well as becoming the leadoff hitter for the eventual World Series champions. Not to say the same thing will happen with Sandoval, but his track record of success leads me to believe that he will eventually turn it around.
I will admit he's had no success in a Red Sox jersey so far, but he committed himself to getting himself in shape to help this team win, and I think we as fans should at least give him a month before we started the "Trade the Fatass" tweets. He's off to a slow start, like MANY of the hitters in the Sox lineup are.