Giants manager Gabe Kapler says he’s not worried about Pablo Sandoval’s weight

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Veteran Giants infielder Pablo Sandoval, who turns 34 in August, seems likely to crack the team’s Opening Day active roster. Given the struggles he endured in Boston after signing a big free-agent contract prior to the 2015 season, the story should be how he rescued his big league career after that drawn out low point. Despite being quite productive for the Giants in a limited role last season, the story is once again Sandoval’s weight. Much of that flows from this recent photograph: 

Images can be deceiving, but Sandoval does indeed appear to be carrying around extra weight. Again, that’s not unusual for Sandoval, who’s dealt with this issue for much of his career and has at times been a highly productive player — at the plate and in the field — despite his weight. Maybe that’s why first-year Giants manager Gabe Kapler doesn’t sound too concerned. Via’s Maria Guardado, here’s what Kapler had to say about Sandoval’s current weight: 

“Look, he’s not going to bat leadoff for us. The expectation with Pablo Sandoval is he slugs. He drives the baseball. He’s a good DH candidate for us. He’s got nice, soft hands, and all of those things are present in camp. Those are the things that we’re going to be focusing on.”

Kapler went to say he has “a lot of empathy” for Sandoval given that he’s struggled with weight issues for much of his career. It’s also worth noting that Sandoval has been recovering from September Tommy John surgery, and at least for a time that no doubt limited his ability to work out at full capacity. As Guardado notes, Sandoval is now able to participate without restriction in team workouts, so perhaps he’ll shed some of that weight prior to Opening Day.

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