After winning the starting third baseman job over Pablo Sandoval in Spring Training, Travis Shaw has become one of the most important players in the Red Sox lineup.
The 26-year old has yet to miss a game this season, playing 25 games and hitting .322 with a .923 OPS, three home runs, and 17 RBIs.
Shaw has been playing in place of Sandoval, whose Red Sox career has been nothing short of a disaster. He arrived to camp clearly out of shape, and hit just .209 in spring training, while Shaw posted a .469 batting average, and played much better in the field. In the end, Red Sox skipper John Farrell made the call to place the 240 pound third baseman on the bench, starting Shaw.
Entering Spring Training as a guy who was supposed to be a utility at best, the choice was definitely a surprise.
“It’s very exciting,” Shaw said, per The Providence Journal’s Tim Britton after hearing of the decision. “I feel like I did what I needed to do this spring to put myself in this position. I’m really looking forward to experiencing my first Opening Day and in the starting lineup.”
Farrell’s decision has clearly paid off, as Shaw’s hot start has helped lift the Red Sox to a 15-10 record, first in the AL East.
“You’ve got to continue to prove yourself,” Shaw told NESN before the start of the season. “I’m not going to take this opportunity for granted. I’m going to try to keep my foot on the pedal and run with this. Hopefully it’s mine for a long period of time.”
He has continued to prove himself, being a frequent contributor to Boston’s success, including a two run home run in last night’s 8-7 victory over the Yankees.
As Shaw gets better, so do the Red Sox. Expect Shaw to continue making a significant impact on this team as the season goes.