Travis Shaw is proving the Red Sox made the right call
Travis Shaw came into the 2016 season looking for a spot on the big league club and after Pablo Sandoval’s much publicized entrance into spring training, Shaw was seen by some as a possible replacement for Sandoval. In spring training, both Shaw and Sandoval battled it out for the starting nod at 3rd base. Shaw had been mostly a 1st baseman in his short MLB career, but with the uncertainty of Sandoval, the Red Sox gave him a chance to win the job over the high priced veteran.
During spring training, Shaw hit .338 with 2 home runs and 11 RBI’s while Sandoval hit .204 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s. Although Shaw had outplayed Sandoval, there were still rumblings that Sandoval might be given the job, but with the season fast approaching, the team made the right call and started Shaw. Shaw has rewarded the team with his play hitting .322 with 3 home runs and 17 RBI’s. He’s also played well in the field with only 4 errors in 22 games. That number might seem a bit high for such a short amount of games, but given that this year is Shaw’s first season playing 3rd base on a regular basis , he has played very well.
Last season Shaw hit .274 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI’s in 65 games. Those numbers indicate that although he might not become a big time power home run hitter, he can still contribute with about 15 to 20 home runs over the course of a season which would probably make the team very happy. With Sandoval being placed on the DL with a shoulder injury and now needing surgery on that shoulder, there should be no reason for Shaw to sweat out every at bat wondering if he could be benched if he goes into a minor slump.
What Shaw has been able to do in the season’s first month is proving that the Red Sox made the right decision in sitting the 17-million-dollar man for a steady, productive, and younger player who might turn out to be a very good professional baseball player. If and when Sandoval returns from his shoulder injury, one thing is for sure, if Shaw keeps up his production, he will most likely stay in the lineup.
Stats provided by Baseball-Reference and CBS Sports.
Colby Gatz covers the Boston Red Sox for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15.