Travis Shaw is getting regular opportunities to play against left-handed pitching this season, and so far he’s taking advantage of them.
In his first year as the Milwaukee Brewers’ starting third baseman, Shaw entered Thursday’s series finale with the Boston Red Sox hitting .314 with a home run, seven runs batted in and an OPS of .923 over 35 at-bats.
Last year with Boston, Shaw struggled early against southpaws and then saw his opportunities dry up when the team traded for Aaron Hill and began platooning the pair. Shaw eventually saw his playing time cut even further with Boston working in younger players Yoan Moncada and Brock Holt.
Even before the season began, Shaw hoped the Brewers would allow him the chance to face lefties. He said that knowing he’ll be in the lineup most days against them has given him added confidence.
“That helps,” said Shaw, who went 0 for 2 against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez on Thursday. “Also, my approach is a little bit better against them this year.
“Last year I got into too much of a pull mode, being too pull-happy against lefties. This year I’m more focused on trying taking them the other way a little bit more, which helps me stay on some pitches and keeps me from rolling over on the sliders and off-speed pitches.”
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BOX SCORE: Red Sox 4, Brewers 1
Shaw’s situation in Boston wasn’t unlike the one Scooter Gennett faced in his early years in Milwaukee. It wasn’t until last year, when Gennett was given regular opportunities against lefties,…