Shaw blames the mid-season trade for Aaron Hill for his season spiraling down the drain. Bringing in competition at third base seemed to shatter his confidence and by his own admission he began pressing too much in an attempt to win back his starting job, which only made things worse.
"“It was when the Red Sox acquired Aaron Hill,” Shaw told Bradford. “At the time I was struggling for a two or three period, four-week period, whatever that was. I wasn’t playing like I was in April and May. At the same time, my numbers, I thought personally were … I’m hitting sixth or seventh in the order at the time. I think I was on pace for 20-plus homers, drive in 80-plus at the bottom half of the order. They make that trade and I stop playing every day. I was like, ‘Why? What’s going on?’ I understand that I was struggling at the time. But I think that’s when I got caught up in, ‘Why did they make that trade?’ Then it was like try to do more and keep that spot to play every day and it spiraled out of control.” More from Red Sox News Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure"
Hill is gone now, but had Shaw remained in the organization he would still have faced competition from Sandoval, whose bloated contract necessitated giving him a shot to revitalize his career, as well as Hernandez, who was one of the stars of camp this spring. Were the Red Sox supposed to hand Shaw the third base job with a vote of confidence that he was their guy under the assumption that he would go back to hitting the way he did last April when he felt more secure in his role?
It’s easy to look at what Shaw is doing in Milwaukee and think that the Red Sox would be better off with him still on the team, although that argument is a bit shortsighted. While Shaw has provided a decent amount of pop that Boston’s lineup could certainly use, the power from his left-handed swing wouldn’t necessarily translate as well at Fenway Park and his .303 OBP leaves a lot to be desired.