Spring training is coming to a close, and the 2016 season is right around the corner. Many organizations have already started to shape their rosters for the upcoming season. The Boston Red Sox are one of those teams. But there is one HUGE question mark that remains at third base. Do the Sox want to go with the overweight, and lethargic, three-time World Series champion, Pablo Sandoval or do they want to go with the unproven, Spring Training stud, Travis Shaw?
To me, the answer is easy. Travis Shaw needs and deserves to be the Red Sox starting third basemen going into the 2016 season. This is not just because I think Shaw’s talent is better, but is also due to the fact that Sandoval is a useless asset to the team.
Ripping into Sandoval’s life is something I don’t want to do, but it seems necessary at this point. It has been reported that Sandoval has been experiencing back pain throughout Spring Training. Now I know how difficult playing in the warm Florida weather must be. Going out to the field every day to shag some grounders and take some batting practice must really put a toll on your body…ESPECIALLY if you are 50 pounds overweight. You are getting paid 95 million dollars to go out and play 9 innings every night and not suck up the joint. But you continue to disappoint Red Sox Nation.
I don’t want to make this all about Sandoval, let’s give some credit to Shaw for continuing what we saw from him last season and bringing it to the table this Spring Training. In 2015, Shaw blasted 13 homeruns and hit .270 throughout 65 games. Sandoval on the other hand, hit 10 homeruns and barely hit above his weight, with an average of .245 over 126 games. The stats speak for themselves. Shaw is younger, in shape, and a way better hitter and fielder than Sandoval. So why is there even a question to who’s going to start at third base?
Like I mentioned before, Sandoval is making 95 million dollars! This may be the only reason that Sandoval even has a chance of starting this year at the hot corner. The buffoons we call the Red Sox owners decided to shell out almost 100 million dollars to an overweight and over-rated, marketing strategy. Sandoval is known as the “panda” and honestly, it makes me cringe when anybody calls him that. The Red Sox owners had one thought in their minds when signing Sandoval and that was the revenue he would bring in from all the idiotic “panda” merchandise they would sell at their pro-shops. Sorry, but if the Red Sox owners knew anything about baseball, they would know that overweight players in the Major Leagues do not stick around for very long. When the Red Sox signed Sandoval in 2015 he was 28 years old. Signing him to a five year deal may have been the dumbest decision this organization has ever made. Look at players like Joba Chamberlain, Bobby Jenks, and Jonathon Broxton. All these players started out as productive Major Leaguers, but eventually their weight issues got the best of them, ending their careers or significantly hampering them.
Again, I digress. This should not be all about Sandoval, but rather the performance of Shaw. This spring, Shaw has hit an outstanding .371 and has been one of the shining stars for the Sox. This guy can play, and with Sandoval’s back stiffness continuing to be an issue, then maybe Red Sox management has an excuse to slide Shaw into the lineup. Time will soon tell, but if I were John Farrell, my third basemen to start the year would be Travis Shaw.