It’s no secret Travis Shaw is slumping, but apparently the Boston Red Sox third baseman disagrees with his manager about how to fix it.
Before the Red Sox acquired Aaron Hill in on July 7, Shaw was batting .274 with a an .801 OPS and had a clear role as the starting third baseman. But since then, Shaw hasn’t been featured in the lineup as prominently.
The 26-year-old thinks that’s affecting his play, too.
“I had some adjustments to make earlier this year, but I don’t feel there’s something consistent now,” Shaw said Friday after Boston’s 10-2 win over the Detroit Tigers, via The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. “It’s not like I can’t hit a certain pitch. I’m just going through a tough stretch. There’s not one area they consistently attack. I’m just trying to get an opportunity.”
However, Red Sox manager John Farrell’s report on Shaw was the exact opposite.
“I think he’s probably benefited from being more fresh,” Farrell said, per Abraham. “And yet at the same time there’s a clear-cut pattern how he’s being attacked. I think that’s pretty evident by how pitchers attack, particularly with two strikes.
“I can’t say that the lack of reps has been a detriment. The book is out. You know what? Players are always in that counter-adjustment phase and Travis is in that right now.”
It could be a tough road for Shaw, as he already was having some trouble at the plate before Hill came around, carrying a .214 average in the month of June. It’s reached a peak recently, though, and Shaw is just two for his last 25 and is batting .156 (4-for-75) in the month of August.
Shaw was adamant that more playing time would fix that.
“My swing feels great in the cage,” Shaw said. “I need some in-game reps. That’s the only way I can fix it. It’s hard to do that when you’re playing two or three days a week.”
That’s an exaggerated claim — Shaw has started 12 of Boston’s 18 games this month and has appeared in 17 — but it’s a good indication of how determined Shaw is right now. And he still thinks he can contribute, too.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant or cocky but I can add a lot to the lineup down the stretch if I were able to get hot like I was the first couple of month,” Shaw said, via Abraham. “At the time of the trade, I felt like I was hitting pretty well. They felt like they needed an improvement. I won’t say I was content, but I was pleased where I was at, then my playing time went down.”
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Jun 28, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Travis Shaw (47) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports