Stop the insanity!!
Since when did Travis Shaw become the second coming of Mike Schmidt? Or George Brett? Or Wade Boggs? Or…you get the point.
The latest hot topic in Red Sox camp is whether Shaw is going to steal the third base job from Pablo Sandoval. Sure, Shaw is hitting well this spring. Panda is as fat as ever and not hitting quite as well. Manager John Farrell claims that there is a competition. Reports have come out this week that General Manager Dave Dombrowski supposedly issued a sort of edict when he took over last August (and reiterated it before Spring Training) that the coaches were told to not give jobs “based on contracts”. And all that.
But should we really buy it? I’m not. Panda has 4 years left on his deal at close to 80 large. There is simply no way he is heading to the bench. That is too much dough to be wasting away, regardless of what Dombrowski says. If he comes out of the gate hitting like .150, maybe it happens then. But he won’t start the year on the bench. Unless this back stiffness that arose today is something more serious, but I’m not talking about getting benched due to injury. If he starts on the bench, whatever trade value he has will disappear…though I know he doesn’t have much now anyway.
I feel like Dombrowski would eat most of the contract to get Fat Panda out of town. At least a big chunk of it. After all, he didn’t sign Pablo. The Sox’ best bet is probably to play Panda, hope he gets hot and then deal him. If he sits, that option is gone. I know, it’s pretty far-fetched that anyone will take him. But I have to believe that has to be part of their thinking. It’s their only chance.
Don’t we also have to be concerned about the very real possibility the team “loses” Panda if he gets benched. He then sits back and gets even fatter while he counts his riches. Just totally checks out. And what happens if Shaw sucks out of the gate too? Then you go right back to Panda and not expect him to be pissed?
Another reason that people are latching onto is that Shaw has played better defense than Panda this spring at 3b. What’s that, for like 12 games? Shaw played 8 games at third last year in the majors, out of 65 played. He has started 108 games out of 604 professional games at the hot corner. And all of a sudden he is a Gold Glover? Well, he played there in college, they say. Ok. Panda has played 894 games at third in his career and has been mostly reliable. All of a sudden Shaw is better defensively? Seems more than a little silly to me.
Shaw had a nice half-season last year. But there was no pressure on him, as they were well out of the race before he started playing regularly. Not to mention he did a lot of damage in September, against plenty of other minor league callups.
Listen, I do not hate Travis Shaw. He can be a nice backup, playing one or two days a week at third, as well as one or two days a week at first. And then he will probably get plenty of at-bats when the inevitable Hanley Ramirez injury occurs. He should be ok. But after like 40 at-bats in Spring Training, he is all of a sudden the next big thing? Where was all the “hot prospect” talk in previous years? Let’s not get carried away here folks.
God, I hate all of these Spring Training “feel-good” stories.
Speaking of feel-good…and speaking of insanity…this week reporters are trying to sell us on Hanley settling in nicely at first base. That he is going to “make people eat their words” about him. Seriously? Again, after only a handful of non-pressure filled games in camp? And with his history? How could people possibly buy this as well?
Same thing as Fat Panda: Have him start out strong at the plate and look competent at first base…then try to unload him on someone. While of course eating a lot of his dough too. I’ve made that no secret already though…
10 days ’til Opening Day…
Posted on March 24, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Boston Red Sox, Dave Dombrowski, Fat Panda, Hanley Ramirez, John Farrell, MLB, Opening Day, Pablo Sandoval, Spring Training, Travis Shaw. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.