Pablo Sandoval has had a dismal start to the 2014 season, to say the least. For a guy in a contract year, and reportedly seeking $100 million, he hasn’t done himself many favors this season. In fact, it took him until May 14th to raise his batting average to over .200. That’s not a guy who is worth the kind of money he’s looking for.
However, things may be turning around for the Panda. Ever since San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt broke his thumb back on May 9th, Sandoval has been money.
Sandoval since #SFGiants lost Belt: .389/.389/.556 in 36 plate appearances, 9-game hitting streak, 4 multi-hit games. Uh, and a .419 BABIP.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 19, 2014
Not only has he began to break out of his slump, but he looks to be doing it in a big way. Literally, the day Belt went on the disabled list, Sandoval began his 9-game hitting streak. Prior to Belt’s injury he had just 20 hits in a little over a month of baseball. Since Belt’s injury, he has 15 hits in just nine games.
It’s probably too soon to declare that Sandoval “is back.” However, with Belt out for at least six to eight weeks, Sandoval needed to step up if the Giants are going to maintain their lead in the NL West. The Giants are tied for the most wins in baseball right now with their Bay Area rivals, the Oakland Athletics.
The Giants are hopeful they can expect more of the guy who hit three home runs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series rather than the guy hitting .212 this season.