|(Aug. 3, 2016 - Source: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images North America)|
Last night was Yoan Moncada's MLB debut.
Last night was also Travis Shaw's best night in a very long time.
Moncada was called up on Wednesday. Red Sox Nation had been eagerly awaiting Moncada's call-up to the bigs and when he finally came up, it was presumed that he would take over at third base, which is a position that's had terrible production all year for the Sox.
Shaw was supposed to be the power-hitting third basemen that the Red Sox had hoped for. Instead, he had a horrid August, batting .167 with 2 HRs and 6 RBI. Since the All Star break, Shaw has batted .205 and been an unreliable bat in the lineup. He's slowly moved his way down the order.
Last night was Moncada's first game in a Red Sox uniform. Shaw's likely replacement was sitting in the same clubhouse as he was.
Shaw responded by leading the Red Sox to a 16-2 rout of the Oakland A's by going 3-for-6 with 1 HR and 5 RBI.
Moncada's call-up actually has more benefits than just his own performance. His impact ranges to other guys, too, in particularly Shaw. By calling up Moncada, Shaw will gain some much-needed motivation to start performing at the level he's supposed to be performing at. If he starts to slump again, the Sox can then just swap Moncada in for Shaw. That right there has to be in Shaw's head for the rest of the season.If the Red Sox called up Yoan Moncada in May, Travis Shaw would be hitting .450 with 72 home runs right now.— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) September 3, 2016
Ideally, the Red Sox would probably like a platoon of Shaw and Moncada at third base just until the season ends. If both produce at a solid level, the Sox will go with Moncada at third, Shaw at first, and Hanley Ramirez at DH next season.
But for now, Shaw has to focus on playing well for the rest of this year so he doesn't lose his job to Moncada.
Hopefully the fire is fully lit under Shaw.
Follow Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) on Twitter for all of his Red Sox thoughts and opinions.
Evan Marinofsky 9/03/2016 06:24:00 PM Tweet