The Red Sox have placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list with a shoulder strain an recalled infielder Josh Rutledge from Triple-A Pawtucket to take his place on the roster, as WEEI’s Rob Bradford tweets. In order to clear a spot for Rutledge on the 40-man roster, the Sox transferred Brandon Workman to the 60-day disabled list. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe tweets that the Sox have outlined a conditioning program for Sandoval while he is on the disabled list.
Manager John Farrell acknowledged to the Boston media that a “breather” from the heavy scrutiny he’s received could do Sandoval some good, adding that the DL stint could indeed give him some time to work on conditioning. Speier tweets a few fully transcribed quotes from Farrell, who says he “firmly believes” that Sandoval will contribute to the club. The manager couldn’t trace the ailment, which Sandoval reported to the team today, to a specific moment, tweets the Providence Journal’s Brian MacPherson. “To give you an exact moment when it took place, I don’t have that, to be honest,” said Farrell. “He’s been hitting a lot extra.” Sandoval himself told reporters, including the Herald’s Evan Drellich (Twitter link), that he woke up this morning unable to move his arm. He had a similar problem in 2011 with the Giants and will meet with a doctor about the injury tonight.
Sandoval, who signed a five-year, $95MM contract with the Red Sox in the 2014-15 offseason, lost the starting third base job to sophomore Travis Shaw this spring and has received a total of just seven plate appearances this season. The 29-year-old opened his first season in Boston with such great struggles versus left-handed pitching that he abandoned switch-hitting and hit exclusively left-handed for the bulk of the season. That change, however, did little to spark Sandoval’s disappointing bat, and after a dismal .210/.267/.335 batting line in the season’s second half, his overall 2015 line sat at .245/.292/.366.
While Sandoval once rated as a solid defender in the eyes of metrics like Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved, his glove graded out terribly in 2015. Earlier today, ESPN’s Buster Olney released a video blog shooting down any speculation surrounding a Pablo Sandoval/James Shields swap — a trade proposal that is frequently suggested but indeed makes virtually no sense for the Padres (as we’ve written here multiple times) — and within the video he noted that evaluators to whom he’s spoken have deemed Sandoval “unplayable” at the hot corner.
Sandoval is earning $17MM this season and will have the same salary in 2017 before earning $18MM in 2018 and again in 2019. His contract contains a $17MM club option that comes with a $5MM buyout, meaning he’s owed a bit less than $75MM through the end of the 2019 season.