Did you know Pablo Sandoval is nearly perfect in every way? It is true, you can look it up. Try browsing through the Getty Images library for images tagged “Pablo Sandoval.” The man is joie de vivre just up and walking around. Smiles? He makes Jeff Francoeur look like a Norwegian Black Metal groupie.
Pablo Sandoval has even more to smile about now, as he underwent Lasik corrective surgery to correct the vision in his left eye in San Francisco on Friday.
Sandoval struggled with his vision for much of his big league career; resorting to contact lenses and even goggles (as seen above) to aid him at the plate. Sandoval went from wearing a corrective lens in just his left eye in 2010 to wearing them in both for the 2011 season.
Sandoval’s numbers suggest the improved vision was a good thing, as he rebounded from a poor 2010 to post great numbers in 2011, partially due finally reaching the “best shape of his life” Valhalla. But correcting the vision in his left eye could improve a specific aspect of the Panda’s game, as the San Fran Chronicle notes: hitting right-handed.
The Giants switch-hitting third baseman posted great numbers against left-handed pitching in 2009 but they are the exception to the rule for his career. Sandoval struggles badly when hitting from the right side, posting a career wOBA some 40 points lower, even with his strong 2009 factored in. Sandoval shows very little power from the right side, posting ISO numbers 100 points lower from the left rather than the right over the past two seasons.
With improved vision in his left eye, only Sandoval’s troublesome left shoulder stands between the big man and a proper switch-hitting renaissance. He isn’t going to develop a “sound approach” or “any shred of patience” with his new visual acuity, but at least he might have a clue where his hacks should be aimed. Don’t ever change, Pablo. Unless it is a change for the better, like this one!