Sandoval batting fifth in lineup after breather
DENVER -- Pablo Sandoval came into Colorado after a day of rest Sunday and was ready to take a rejuvenated approach in a new spot in the lineup.
"He knew he was getting the day yesterday," manager Bruce Bochy said of Sandoval's status. "He was very upbeat in the dugout. The pitcher's spot was coming up at the end. If it did, he would have hit. He should be good to go today. I just think he needed a break, mentally as much as anything yesterday."
The struggling third baseman was hitting .171 (12-for-70) on the season entering the series opener with the Rockies. But Coors Field is a prodigious slump buster, and Sandoval matches up well against Monday's starter Jorge De La Rosa over the course of his career, hitting him at a .324 (11-for-34) clip.
Sandoval's numbers aren't as high one might expect at a hitter's haven like Coors Field. He owns a .245 (38-for-155) average in 40 games, but project his eight home runs and 25 RBIs over the course of a full season, and his numbers add up to a more dangerous output than he's ever compiled in a full season.
"He has [done well here]," Bochy said of Sandoval. "Most of the parks we play in are pitchers' parks in our division, except for here and Arizona."
Bochy moved Sandoval from his customary spot in the three-hole and is batting him fifth for the first time this season in hopes of getting more relaxed at-bats from his third baseman.