BOSTON (AP) — Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval, a $95 million free agent who lost his starting job before going on the disabled list, will have exploratory surgery on his left shoulder to determine the source of the injury.
The team announced Monday the procedure will be performed in Florida by Dr. James Andrews, a specialist in repairing ligaments. The Red Sox said they had no timetable for Sandoval’s return, but ESPN reported that the two-time All-Star is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Beloved in San Francisco as Kung Fu Panda while winning three championships and the 2012 World Series MVP award, Sandoval signed with the Red Sox after the 2014 season for five years and $95 million. But he batted .245 with 10 homers and 47 RBIs over 126 games in 2015 — all career lows for a full season.
This year, he reported to spring training visibly overweight; (team owner John Henry denied that Sandoval had grown fat). At the end of spring training, manager John Farrell benched Sandoval and gave the starting job to Travis Shaw.
“If it’s the right decision to help the team win, I’m going to be happy,” Sandoval said then. “I’m going to be ready for the bench. I’ll get ready for everything in the season and do my job. It’s going to be difficult. I have to be happy and do a great job.”
Booed by fans at the home opener, Sandoval appeared in just three games, going 0 for 6 with four strikeouts before going on the DL with an injury that Farrell couldn’t place.
“To give an exact moment, I don’t have that to be honest,” Farrell said after the move was made on April 13. “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.”
The 29-year-old Sandoval went to see Andrews for a second opinion on his shoulder last month.
“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.”