Red Sox return Barnes and recall Shaw


The Red Sox have made a roster switch by returning right-hander Matt Barnes (2-2, 4.24) to Pawtucket and calling up Travis Shaw for a second stint in Boston.

Barnes has – to be polite – been inconsistent. A hard thrower who in 17 innings has allowed 25 hits while striking out 13. Barnes initially started this season in the rotation at Pawtucket with three starts among his four appearances before being brought to Boston to provide bullpen depth.

Shaw started the season with a slash line in Pawtucket that was beginning to question how long Shaw would be with the organization. The 25-year-old first baseman/third baseman hit a paltry .185 for April. Not the kind of number that grabs attention, but that average has now exceeded .256 (.364 for June) and that starts to get some positive attention.

Shaw’s rebirth has seen a batting order change as Shaw has been moved into the third slot in the order and that is both a reward and a confidence builder.

In May, Shaw managed a brief one game call-up to Boston where the left-handed hitter went 0-2 before being sent back down I-95. However, in May and now June, Shaw has suddenly started to project some decent power numbers with five home runs, quality at bats and timely hits. Shaw also has 26 RBI and is third on the PawSox in walks.

Shaw, a right-handed glove, is a serviceable first baseman who has also seen duty at third. His advancement depends upon providing consistent line drive power that is reflected in a higher average. Shaw is a patient hitter and just could be a late bloomer.

The roster move could be a typical one game maneuver or, as Shaw no doubt hopes, a more extensive trial.

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