I can’t believe it…
…the Red Sox really gave Travis Shaw the 3B job today?! Guess I was wrong in my rant last week. Oh well, wasn’t the first time and sure as hell won’t be the last. But I am in shock. Regardless of what was being said publicly on the third base “competition”, I didn’t believe a word of it. Why would I? How often have the Red Sox under John Henry & Co. actually been honest? Is ownership now turning over a new leaf? I would find that hard to believe as well…even if Larry Lucchino isn’t supposedly involved much anymore.
But I guess that is the way it is now. Fat Panda and his 17.6 mil is on the bench this year. So is Rusney Castillo and his 11.271 mil. Rick “20.125 mil” Porcello is your FOURTH starter. So far, Hanley Ramirez and his 22.750 mil is in the lineup, but I suppose he will get hurt soon enough anyway and that will take care of that.
This is definitely not how the Red Sox historically do things. Well, for that matter, most teams don’t do this either. You play the guys who are getting paid, right or wrong. On one hand, I applaud the Sox for kind of “taking a stand” and changing the way they do things…for the start of the season anyway. On the other hand…I think the Fat Panda move is a mistake…and the Castillo decision is also one…although to a lesser degree.
Why is the Panda move a mistake? Well, I outlined that pretty much last week. Shaw is not likely an impact player, certainly not an All-Star. Any trade value Panda has currently changes to zero while he’s on the bench. Does anyone expect the benching to motivate Panda to get in shape in order to fight for his job back? What happens if Shaw comes out of the gate hitting .175 and you have to go back with your tail between your legs to a (possibly) pissed off Pablo? Yada, yada, yada…it’s nice to see “on paper” that the Sox went with the younger, hotter (at least based on Spring Training), more motivated player. But I think this has a very good chance to backfire.
Though in case you missed Panda’s response: “It is best for the team for Shaw to get the job…he had a good spring…”. Paraphrasing it here, but that was the gist. WHAT?!! How about being angry that you lost the job? A little disconcerting, if you ask me. Maybe he really doesn’t care? This is ugly either way. I have to tell you, if we are at this point, I wonder if the best move is just releasing him outright? If you can’t trade him for pennies on the dollar (which presumably they have tried to do), what’s the difference? It’ll never happen. But this has the potential to get worse. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
As for the Castillo benching, as if anyone cares, maybe it is not technically a “mistake”. By all indications, he played poorly in the spring. He has done nothing to distinguish himself in his brief major league career. Certainly not to the tune of 11 million plus. But the end result of the move is what I refer to as the mistake.
Brock Holt and Chris Young will platoon in left field. Young, fine. I think everyone figured he would play against lefties anyway. Assumed for Jackie Bradley Jr., but it’s all good with Young. But Holt against righties? That means he will essentially play every day. That may work for a few months. But if the last two seasons are any indication, the more you play him, the more he wears down and contributes little as the season moves into its latter months. Holt’s true value is playing multiple positions a few times a week. Now he is essentially the every day left fielder. Great for him, I do like the player a great deal. I just don’t think it serves the team well sticking him in left most of the time.
I’m not saying I would play Castillo every day there either. That’s not the issue. The issue is the fact that they are keeping him as a seldom-used FIFTH outfielder. Why bother? The story goes that he basically didn’t play for a couple of years in Cuba. He has not played a whole ton since he came to the States. What purpose does it serve by keeping him on the bench here? Barring injury, how much does a fifth OF play? He should be playing every day in Pawtucket. To see if anything at all can be salvaged with this signing. And your last OF/last position player spot should go to a guy like…David Murphy. Which is why I guessed he would be here. I don’t love Murphs. But pick anyone of that ilk. Good enough. Just no sense in having Rusney here at all…and that’s the real point.
I’m even less confident in the Sox this year than I was last week. Maybe cuz this rotation looks scarier by the day. Unfortunately, until Eduardo Rodriguez comes back, or some sort of trade is made, we are stuck with what is there. Not many options. Roenis Elias? Henry Owens? Brian Johnson? Ugh. Truth be told, I’m not counting on Eddy coming back any time soon. Interesting how the team has been kind of vague on his status…and timetables keep moving as well. Not encouraging to me. Bucky went a solid 4 today…shouldn’t starters be going like 6-7 by now? Maybe not.
Cross your fingers we have meaningful baseball in Boston this summer. The schedule out of the gate appears tough. John Farrell is still the manager. The rotation is putrid. Drama could evolve from the above. All of that.
If not, at least we have Big Papi’s farewell tour. Actually, don’t get me started on that…
Posted on March 31, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Big Papi, Boston Red Sox, Brock Holt, Hanley Ramirez, John Farrell, Major League Playoffs, Pablo Sandoval, Rick Porcello, Rusney Castillo, Travis Shaw. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.