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What should we make of Pablo Sandoval’s appearance, comments? Too early to tell

02.16.17 at 2:21 pm ET
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Pablo Sandoval met the media on Thursday. (John Tomase/WEEI.com)

Pablo Sandoval met the media on Thursday. (John Tomase/WEEI.com)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Pablo Sandoval looked the part, and said all the right things. Now comes the only part that matters.

Can he be a productive starting third baseman for the Red Sox?

Sandoval re-entered JetBlue Park on the first official day of spring training Thursday looking as advertised. He has lost a significant amount of weight — having integrated boxing into his regimen over the last month — while looking capable during a batting practice session on Field 1.

Then, when meeting with the assembled media, Sandoval did what he needed to do.

Do you think you have something to prove?

“Everything. I have to prove everything. Especially when you’re coming from an off year after the injuries and you come back and you have to prove a lot of things to the fans, to the team, to your teammates, to the sport. You have to prove a lot of things out there on the field.”

Can you sustain the weight loss over the course of the season?

“It’s going to be different because the schedule, the travel. But the program is going to be there. It’s not going to be as hard as I’ve done in the offseason, but I’m going to continue to work and get the program done.”

How about not playing in the World Baseball Classic?

“You know, it’s not my choice, especially when you’ve been hurting. I want to play for my country but it’s not my decision. It’s the team’s decision. They made their own decision that I have to follow, and I’m completely happy. They told me all the things. I’m happy to be in spring training right now, focusing on my teammates, doing the best that I can for the team.”

Motivation?

“My family. My baby. I want to play eight more years to show my son, so he can see his dad play growing up.”

How much weight did you lose?

“I don’t know. I don’t focus on the scale. I focus on doing my job. The team staff and the program I’ve been working on, they’ve been touching on that, but I don’t focus on the scale.”

All of it right on. But it’s been three years now since Sandoval was an everyday player, and that season his final regular season numbers weren’t exactly eye-popping, hitting .279 with a .739 OPS in 157 games with the Giants.

And since he has been with the Red Sox, the team is 56-73 in games he has played in, with Sandoval hitting combined .242 with an OPS of .651.

There is a long way to go for Sandoval, but at least Thursday was a good start.

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