FORT MYERS, Fla. — The fact that Pablo Sandoval looked chubby in photos shot of him in Red Sox camp Tuesday was news? Sandoval, who was not at the facility Wednesday, has always had a big belly.
One of the few times he didn’t was last year during spring training with the Giants, when he had lost 30 pounds and looked svelte. Problem was, that didn’t translate into good performance.
He hit .177 last April. As he began to gain weight, he hit over .300 in every month except September, when he hit .218. Of course, he went on to have a phenomenal postseason, hitting .400 in the NLCS and .429 in the World Series.
In 167 career plate appearances in the postseason, Sandoval has hit .344 with a .935 OPS. He’s done it looking pretty much like the guy we saw with a protruding stomach.
One Giants coach said, “His weight will always be an issue and one that we’re probably getting tired of. But the only time it’s been a factor is when he gets a little too heavy — and I don’t know exactly what that number is — he will slow down in the field.
“He has quick feet and he moves well, but when he gets too heavy, he slows down and isn’t able to get to certain balls. That’s the only time I’ve seen it affect him.”
“He needs to be reminded, ‘Hey, your weight seems to be getting up there again, watch it,’ ” added the coach. “It will be a constant topic, but I think Pablo will reach the point where he won’t let it affect his play on the field.
“And I think he knows when he’s over the line. He can be a great clutch hitter who is great on a team. He loves to eat, but don’t we all?”
Hamels open to Boston trade
Phillies lefthander Cole Hamels told USA Today Wednesday that even though Boston is not on the list of 10 teams that he can be traded to, he wouldn’t hesitate going there.
“Of course I would,’’ Hamels said. “It’s a fun city. There’s no better feeling than to have a chance to win every year, and they give you that chance. I’m all ears.”
The newspaper spoke to Hamels in Tampa, away from the team’s spring training facility in Clearwater. Hamels spoke at length about wanting to play for a contender.
“We have a very small window in our lives,” Hamels said. “You understand this is going to end. The Phillies will go on forever, but we know our careers are going to end.
“And I want to go to a place where I can win again. It’s not like I’m a hired gun. I’ve got four or five years left on my contract. I want to help that team win just like I did here.’’
The Yankees and Rangers can trade for Hamels without his consent in the American League. He’s owed $96 million on the four years left on his deal. There’s speculation he’d only accept a deal to a team on his trade list if it picks up the 2019 option of $20 million.
Hamels added, “I don’t watch much TV in the offseason, and I had friends texting me and telling me what’s going on, so I tried to stay away from all of it. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was checking the Internet to see the latest.
“I wanted to see where I was going to spend my next four years. Now that I’m here, I plan on being here for the next six weeks. I think it would be pretty chaotic if that’s not the case. But it’s out of my control.
“All I can do is get ready this spring, be ready for Opening Day, and be prepared for the long season.”
Sources have told the Globe that the Red Sox had offered mostly major league talent rather than the minor league prospects the Phillies covet for Hamels. The Phillies have been after Mookie Betts and Blake Swihart, but the Sox have indicated they are off limits.
Two more on site
Shane Victorino and Daniel Nava made it into camp after the daily workout.
Breslow feels good
Craig Breslow feels like his old self again. The lefty reliever is trying to regain his form from 2013 after a miserable 2014. After he sifted through a few one-year offers, the Red Sox came back to Breslow after they lost Andrew Miller to the Yankees and decided to give it one more try. Breslow said he’s been working the entire offseason and feels as good as he has in a long time . . . Catcher Ryan Hanigan worked out for the first time after spending some time at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden, where his dog, Vivian, was an entry. Hanigan’s dog didn’t fare as well as it did last year, when it won a “best in breed” honor. Vivian is an Australian shepherd . . . Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez continues to impress in bullpen sessions . . . Something you don’t see often: Manager John Farrell threw batting practice Wednesday.
Nick Cafardo can be reached at email@example.com.