BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox hope Pablo Sandoval can get in better shape while he’s on the disabled list.
The club placed the benched third baseman on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of a strained left shoulder.
Red Sox manager John Farrell made the announcement before the series finale at Fenway Park against Baltimore. He didn’t know exactly when the injury occurred, but said Sandoval reported soreness when he got to the park.
“To give an exact moment, I don’t have that to be honest,” Farrell said. “He’s been hitting a lot — extra. Before BP and during the game in the cage. He’s got very limited range of motion.”
The 29-year-old Sandoval lost his starting job late in spring training to Travis Shaw and is hitless in six at-bats with four strikeouts.
Sandoval’s physical condition was questioned early in spring training. Farrell said the time down could help him get back in shape. He’s in the second year of a $95 million, five-year deal signed during free agency in November 2014.
“It’s been a real tough start. He’s been an easy target. I’ve had a chance to sit and talk with him specifically,” Farrell said. “First and foremost, we’ve got to get him right physically to get past the shoulder issue. If a breather gives a chance to maybe step away from the scrutiny he’s been under, we’ll make every effort for that to take place.”
Sandoval struggled in his first season with the Red Sox, hitting .245 with 10 homers and 47 RBIs. He also made 15 errors.
“I still firmly believe Panda can be a contributor to this team,” Farrell said. “We’re going to need him to be. There’s a darn good player in there and we’ve got to continue to work to get that out.”
Sandoval was a member of three World Series winning teams with San Francisco and a popular player there before signing with Boston.
He received loud boos when the Red Sox players were announced in the home opener on Monday.
The team recalled infielder Josh Rutledge from Triple-A Pawtucket to take his place on the roster.
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