It just seems too perfect for Shaw as he makes a push for the Red Sox starting third base job.
Big money third baseman Pablo Sandoval made the best play of his spring in the field. And he’s a bit banged up now because of it. Hmm…
Well Opening Day is only ten days away, so if Sandoval needs those days off to recover, he might not be ready for Opening Day. And it seems like he’s really only day-to-day right now. So ignoring Spring Training stats and last year’s numbers, that is a legitimate reason for Shaw to be the Red Sox Opening Day third baseman.
Forget that Sandoval had the worst year of his career, Shaw showed off 30-home run pop and that Shaw is hitting .419 this spring. That might not matter most to a lot of people in the Red Sox organization. But what does matter is that Shaw has been taking a lot of reps at third base and is healthy. Logically, if health is an issue for Sandoval, that could buy Shaw some time at the position. And if Shaw takes all the reps, then that makes it tough on Sandoval to gain them back when he’s being outplayed because John Farrell doesn’t pay guys.
Clearly, Farrell is going to have to play Sandoval if he’s on the roster. Sure, his defense hasn’t been crisp this spring. But he has looked pretty comfortable at the plate. And the first year in a new market is always tough.
Remember now, Shaw primarily plays first base and there’s plenty of talk of him seeing some time in left field at some point. If he plays well, he’ll play. This opportunity at third base could be a start at that.