Red Sox Travis Shaw Needs Some Life

Jun 10, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Travis Shaw (47) hits single in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 10, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Travis Shaw (47) hits single in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /
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When the Boston Red Sox made the move to put Travis Shaw in at third base, instead of Pablo Sandoval, people cheered. Now, he needs his own lifeline to keep his job.

Ah, where is the faith? Where is the loyalty?

The 26-year-old has still yet to play a full season with the Red Sox, but he made quite the impact in 65 games last year by hitting .270 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs. In just under the same amount of games this season, Shaw has hit .266 with seven homers and another 36 RBIs.

So what’s the problem? The Red Sox have gotten exactly the same as what they saw from Shaw in 2015.

True, his recent struggles have made Red Sox Nation angry, but anyone earning only a single hit in 18 attempts is going to get the same reaction from the fans.

At least Shaw can admit it, too. Scott Lauber of ESPN reported Shaw stating his own problems: “Just not swinging at good pitches […] Chasing a lot of elevated fastballs and swinging at a lot of sliders out of the zone. Nothing mechanical. Mainly pitch selection.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell admitted that opposing pitchers are “pounding fastballs inside early in the count to speed up Shaw’s bat before getting him out with offspeed stuff. Other times, pitchers are getting Shaw to simply chase high heat.” Farrell also mentioned that they “know that in his past coming to the big-league level there has been stretches where he might go through some swing-and-miss stretches.”

Going .056 in the last five games seems more than just a slump; however, is the batting average really what’s eating away at the Fenway faithful?

How about the $95 million that Boston is eating right now, with Sandoval out? In this year’s spring training games, Sandoval was overweight and hitting .204 in 19 games. Shaw hit .338 in 24 games. The writing was on the wall, or rather the buckle was not on the belt, for Sandoval to lose the third base position.

Many people make the argument that the pitiful .143 batting average against lefties is reason enough to platoon the position. Heck, some fans want his head! Let’s not be too hasty, however, with a man who still hits .293 against righty pitchers. Just one season ago, Shaw was able to hit .329 against lefties and only .236 against righties. Did that mean Shaw was incapable of hitting righty pitchers and should have been easily discarded? Not according to this season. Should that same philosophy exile Shaw from all lefty pitchers, now?

Next: How Do The Red Sox Compare To The Orioles?

How about people start standing by a man figuring out his craft for longer than 70 games, for once? Of course Shaw is playing poorly. It’s not like he doesn’t know that. He admitted it. Just remember that the same guy who’s the bad taste in the back of everyone’s mouth today was the blessing in disguise during the Sandoval debacle. How much is that bad taste Shaw’s terrible batting average in the past week and how much of it is waiting for a phenom to make up for paying the Kung Fu Panda a boatload of money to not play for the team?

Let’s try to help Shaw the old-fashioned way: actually cheer for him until he figures it out. Give the man some life to feed from, people!