Travis Shaw Continues Spiral Downward for Boston

The Boston Red Sox were beaten in 10 innings by the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, but it was the play of Travis Shaw in particular that has John Farrell the Red Sox manager worried.

The Boston third baseman ended his road trip at 1 for 17 with a ninth inning bunt into a double play. The play ended a possible rally for the Red Sox late in the game.

The thought of Shaw bunting in that situation just shows how badly he has struggled at the plate. He did not start as Farrell opted to start Josh Rutledge versus Pat Dean the Twins southpaw.

Although Farrell would not come out and say Boston will use a platoon at third, he also could not ignore the numbers Shaw has versus left-handers: .143 batting average and 14 strikeouts.

In the seventh, Shaw was inserted into the game to face Kevin Jepsen a right-hander who relieved Dean. Shaw was struck out by Jepsen with a pair of runners on base. He remained in to play third.

Shaw came to bat again in the ninth and face Fernando Abad. Never before has Shaw been told to bunt during his time in the big leagues. Asked after the game if he could even remember the last time he ever was given the bunt sign, Shaw flatly answered, “No.”

Farrell said that was something the team has not asked of Shaw, but since he is not swinging the bat well of late, they wanted to try to move the runner along.

However, Shaw’s bunt went back to Abad who threw to second to begin the double play.

That was a new low for Shaw. On May 17, Shaw had a .329 batting average. However, since then he has 15 hits in 90 at bats and his season average now sits at .266, which a .322 on base percentage.

Shaw has one home run and just seven hits for extra bases in his past 95 appearance at the plate. This is the first extended slump he has encountered since he beat out Pablo Sandoval the veteran at third base during spring training.

Shaw admits he is swinging at high fastballs and sliders that are not in the strike zone. He said it was not mechanical but pitch selection that was bothering him.

Farrell and Shaw both know the season is long and slumps will occur but the important part is not letting them last too long and to get the young player down and allow his mind to be his own worst enemy.

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