Pablo’s Power Outage

Like Candlestick Park during Monday Night Football last year, Pablo Sandoval is suffering from a major power outage. Sandoval hasn’t homered in a game since July 8th vs. the Pirates. Since the beginning of August Sandoval has just 3 extra base hits (2 doubles and a triple).

Over the last 30 days Pablo Sandoval has posted a triple slash line of .232/.291/.275 in 95 at-bats. Giants manager Bruce Bochy isn’t quite ready to move Pablo out of the 3-hole in the Giants lineup. Bochy told CSN’s Andrew Baggarly that,

“We’ve been going OK like this, I don’t know if it’s time to start changing things right now. We’re in a good position. You want to keep some continuity. If we have to make a change (down the line), we’ll do it,” Bochy said. “You look at your options. If you think they’re better, you do it. With Pablo, he’s a presence up there. When he gets going, he’s a guy who can carry a club.”

Sandoval is 2nd on the club in driving in runs over the last month, but you’d have to wonder if the production could be higher from that spot in the lineup if someone else was there. If Bochy is hesitant to make a move it could be for the fact that the rest of the lineup has settled into their roles nicely and Bochy is worried that tampering with guys could shake them from their grooves.

As long as the Giants continue to win, Bochy is unlikely to drop Pablo in the order or sit him for long stretches all together. Here is a look at some of the candidates the Giants could consider hitting 3rd in the lineup and how they have fared over the last 30 days.

Last 30 Days AB’s R H 2B HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
Sandoval 95 15 22 2 0 17 .232 .291 .274
Arias 46 5 16 4 3 13 .348 .388 .393
Scutaro 111 16 37 7 1 12 .333 .342 .441
Belt 89 9 30 7 1 15 .337 .392 .472
Pence 99 15 26 12 3 21 .263 .348 .444

Bochy talked about wanting to have continuity in his lineup, if you move Pablo out of the 3-hole, whoever replaces them will have to have their spot filled as well. With that in mind, Brandon Belt may appear to make the most sense for maximizing production out of the 3rd spot. The issue with moving Belt is he is having so much success right now, and earlier this year Belt openly talked about pressing at the plate and having his confidence shaken. If the Giants believe Belt has matured as a hitter and moved past those issues they could consider flipping him and Sandoval in the lineup, if he hasn’t, the Giants will be better suited to leave him where he is.

Hunter Pence has the most experience hitting 3rd in the lineup, but Pence has been getting hot as of late and his role is one of the most important on the team… protect MVP candidate Buster Posey.

The Giants have the luxury of a 5 game division lead, so as long as the team continues to win, they can afford to give Pablo the opportunity to work through his power struggles. Given that the Giants are already a team lacking power, Bochy and the Giants have to believe that allowing Pablo to work through his issues will ultimately reward them in the long run. If Pablo is able to regain the swing that made his name a presence in the lineup, the Giants batting order gets a whole lot deeper and likely so does the team’s run into the postseason.

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About Vegas Joe

When I was 5, I decided I was going to cover sports for a living… score. I’ve been working at KNBR since 2005 and have been the producer of Sportsphone 680 since 2010. On the show I’ve worked with former Major League players FP Santangelo and Eric Byrnes. While at KNBR I’ve been blessed to cover many great games and teams including the Warriors ” We Believe” run, The Giants 2010 World Series team, and the 49ers run to the NFC Championship game. I was born in Oakland, where I live today. I have been a Bay Area resident my entire life spending time living in Albany, Lafayette, San Francisco and now Oakland. I graduated from San Francisco State University in 2008 with a degree in Radio and Television.

Posted on September 11, 2012, in San Francisco Giants and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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