Pablo Sandoval has lost his starting role to Travis Shaw. Pablo will begin the season on the bench. Sandoval who struggled last season, arrived at camp at a less than ideal physical condition and has received a pretty relentless amount of criticism.
The debate has been swirling pretty much since Sandoval arrived at camp and immediately raised questions about his weight. The Red Sox went into spin control with owner John Henry even defending his third baseman’s shape by saying he came in with a 17 percent body fat ratio.
Sandoval’s underwhelming spring, including a sluggish performance at third base, opened the door for Shaw, who hit .474 with a 1.237 OPS in his first 14 games. Farrell was asked about the competition constantly and eventually acknowledged that the two were battling for the third base position.
Sandoval has had a fairly sub-par spring, especially for a guy who signed a 5 year, 95 Million contract.
He’s hit .244 with a .767 OPS in 43 plate appearances. He has two homers and six RBI. His defense, too, has been subpar. Sandoval committed four errors in his first 11 games. He also missed a couple of days with a sore back after injuring himself while diving for a ground ball.
The team is pointing to Sandoval’s terrible defense and limited range as the primary motivator toward his new role on the bench. With David Ortiz taking victory laps entrenched as the team’s DH, don’t expect Sandoval to get much action unless he can find a way to get back on the field.
Shaw, a 26 year old minor leaguer has hit .333 this spring with an OPS of .886 and offers above average defense at third.