SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Pablo Sandoval had aresurgent season in 2011, when he became an All-Star for the first time. Butthe switch-hitting Panda hasnt been able to duplicate his initial success fromthe right side. He hit .379 as a right-handed hitter in 2009,including six home runs in 145 at-bats. Sandoval believeshes ready to crush from that side again. His sore left shoulder is improvedfollowing an offseason of rehab work. And his vision is clear after havingLASIK surgery on his left eye inNovember.
No more fiddling with contact lenses or goggles.
Yeah, itsvery different, said Sandoval, after putting on a fireworks show from bothsides of the plate in the Giants first full-squad workout Friday. I feelbetter. I can see better. I can see the ball, the rotation.And the shoulder? Powerful, he said. Nopain. It's not like Sandoval struggled with hisright-handed swing last season. He hit .290 from the right side and .324 as aleft-handed hitter. But he never got comfortable with any correctiveeyewear. He certainly doesnt want to be limited as he waslast September, when he couldnt swing the bat from the right side and had tosit against lefties down the stretch. He doesnt want to revisit those fourplate appearances when he tried to go lefty-on-lefty. (He was 0 for 3 with twostrikeouts and a sacrifice.) No, that wasnt fun, he said,smiling. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he didnt considerSandovals shoulder a dead issue, though. Its a firstday, Bochy said. To see him able to swing without pain, sure, Im sure hesglad hes over it. Now weve got to stay on top of this and make sure itdoesnt flare up again. Its an injury that takes time. Imsure he was frustrated because it affected his playing time. Hes back to beinga switch hitter and Im sure hes excited. Sandoval said hewent several weeks without picking up a bat in the offseason before heparticipated in the Pepsi Home Run Derby in Venezuela. Its a heralded event inhis home country. He has beaten out Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez in pastyears. This time, with no practice?Bad, he said, shaking his head.