TODAY: Sandoval underwent the repair of a labrum tear as well as a general clean-up of his rotator cuff, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). He will miss the entire rest of the season.
YESTERDAY: Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval will undergo surgery on his left shoulder, the club announced. He’s unlikely to return to action in 2016 after undergoing a “significant,” “reconstructive” procedure, according to reports from Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) and ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (Twitter link).
Boston says it will provide more information on the precise nature of the surgery once it is completed by Dr. James Andrews in the coming days. Sandoval has been on the DL since April 13th with somewhat vague shoulder issues; in the announcement, the team labels the injury a “strain.”
The hope will be that the procedure, and the time away that it will afford the 29-year-old, can help spark a turnaround. Quite apart from his shoulder difficulties, Sandoval has long been dogged by struggles to keep his weight in check, and that has increasingly seemed to be a major problem since he signed with Boston.
Sandoval lost his starting third base job to Travis Shaw out of camp, just one season after joining the Red Sox on a five-year, $95MM free agent contract. He was hitless in seven plate appearances in a reserve capacity in the early going in 2016.
In 505 plate appearances last year, Sandoval slashed just .245/.292/.366 and didn’t appear to be headed for much improvement this spring. He also received terrible ratings from both UZR and DRS for his glovework at third in 2015 after previously rating as an average or better defender. Before that, Sandoval was long a quality performer for the Giants; he compiled a .294/.346/.465 batting line in just over 3,500 plate appearances over seven seasons with San Francisco.
Boston, of course, remains on the hook for Sandoval’s contract, which includes $17MM this year and $58MM more thereafter, including a buyout on the club’s 2020 option. (The team does not have an insurance policy on the deal, as Rob Bradford of WEEI.com has indicated and as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.) That looks like wasted payroll space as things stand, but Sandoval is young enough and has a long enough track record of success to believe that some value can still be reaped if he can get his mind and body back into playing shape.