BOSTON — Travis Shaw has had a tough time holding on to his job this season, and he’s all but lost it to Brock Holt at this point.
Holt has been seeing a lot of playing time at third base of late, and it left many wondering if he’d start at the hot corner during the playoffs. Red Sox manager John Farrell essentially confirmed Holt would before Friday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
“You look at the quality, the consistent quality to the at-bats, and I think they’ve been there for (Holt),” Farrell said. “That’s not to say that the other guys aren’t important to us, but this is the time of the year where you’re looking at the current best lineup that you can put on the field. And we’re fortunate his versatility is showing up in a couple of ways.
“He’s a confident defender at third base, and his skill set is a little bit different than the other guys. So against right-handed pitching, that could be the guy we go to at this point.”
With that revelation, there’s little room for Shaw in the lineup. The 26-year-old is batting .187 against lefties, so Aaron Hill, who’s batting .300 versus southpaws, likely would start in those spots.
Shaw is batting just .242 overall, despite his hot start this season. He’s hitting .200 with a .586 OPS and 25 strikeouts in his last 30 games. Holt, on the other hand, has a .284 average and a .750 OPS in his last 30 contests. Still, Shaw can be streaky, and Farrell said the Red Sox aren’t going to forget about his value.
“We’ve seen it in short spurts,” Farrell said. “Whether it was in San Diego, there was a couple of other ballgames or a couple of other stretches of short periods of time where he does have the ability to carry us. We’re trying to get there. And yet you’re at a point of time in the year where every win is meaningful. This is not to turn your back on what he did in the early months of the season, but the type of players he is, we’re hopeful to get a spark somewhere.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images