On April 14th, the Red Sox placed Pablo Sandoval on the 15-day DL, which drew questions from around the baseball world. There hadn't been any indications that the third baseman was nursing an injury, and the circumstances seemed strange at best.
"The curiosity of the DL move grew as the day went on. Sandoval complained of mysterious left shoulder pain, and the Red Sox chose to immediately place him on the disabled list without having tried to diagnose the severity of the injury with an MRI, sources told Yahoo Sports. By the end of Wednesday, Sandoval still hadn't visited an MRI machine, a standard procedure that precedes a DL trip in nearly every case but catastrophic injuries."
For someone to be placed on the disabled list, without any real diagnosis is bound to draw scrutiny. Sandoval ultiamtely did receive an MRI, but wanted a second opinion from the famed Dr. James Andrews. He was set to undergo a full examination on Monday down in Florida, but was somehow too sore for Andrews to do anything.
Even to someone that isn't medically trained, that sounds odd, as players with far more debilitating injuries than a sore shoulder have been examined before. The former Red Sox medical director and current Patriots team doctor, Thomas Gill, expressed his confusion with the entire situation.
"'It’s pretty rare to have someone this far out from this specific injury to have so much pain you can’t examine them,' Gill said. 'Obviously I’m not aware of anything going on with Pablo, specifically. But just in a general rule for an athlete with a shoulder injury, you ought to be able to examine them'...
'I’ve known Dr. Andrews extremely well. He’s an exceptional doctor and he’s a great communicator. We’ve shared a lot of patients over the years. I’ve never heard of this, to be honest with you,' Dr. Gill said. 'I’ve never heard of a guy that would fly all the way down there. None of our guys would go down and not be able to be examined. Especially, hearing that he did get an injection. It is a head-scratcher because usually right after the injection is the best time to examine someone. Really literally 10 minutes after the injection is when you would want to do the exam.'"
Gill refused to add weight to the theory that Andrews could be cooperating with Sandoval's agent, as his colleague has "the highest reputation there is."
The next steps for Sandoval and the Red Sox are unclear, but it doesn't seem like we'll see him back on the field anytime soon. Boston will re-evaluate their third baseman in a few weeks, which makes this situation even stranger. As Evan Drellich pointed out, he "cannot recall a baseball medical situation where inflammation required weeks to subside."
It's unclear how these two sides are going to work their issues out, but as Jeff Passan wrote last week, "the broken, disastrous marriage between [Sandoval] and the [Red Sox], an ill-fated union exceed in its dysfunction only by a Kardashian coupling, could be nearing its end."