Monday, April 4, 2011

Pablo Sandoval's Turns Around the High Cheese

If there is one encouraging thing to take away from last night's game against the Dodgers, it's Pablo Sandoval turning around a high fastball from Hiroki Kuroda and planting it in the deep right field bleachers an estimated 419 feet away.

I have a feeling that last year this would have been a harmless fly ball or, even more likely, a swing and a miss. Sandoval had serious trouble squaring up pitches up in the zone last year and made a habit of getting himself out. If we can infer anything from this, hopefully it's that this trend will reverse itself.

Kuroda tried to throw the cheese right by him, somewhat like what he had just done to Aubrey Huff and doing what the scouting reports last season said would get him out. Well, Sandoval was not fooled and didn't miss the 92.4 mph fastball. As ESPN showed, he had great balance and mechanics and kept his hands above the pitch and drove the ball.

Sandoval's resurgence has been a major storyline already this season and it's worth repeating; if he returns to his 2009 form, watch out.

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