The déjà vu
3rd base, it’s the conversation topic that keeps on giving and we’ll be heading into a spring training with déjà vu due to that fact that the same conversations will be had about who should play there, except there is another equation to add into the mix for 2017. Travis Shaw, Pablo Sandoval, Yoan #Moncada or Brock Holt? That’s the question that’ll have to be answered by Red Sox management before the 1st game of the season, there is only one man who can ensure that it’s not a topic of discussion again this time next year, and that’s Moncada.
Shaw not good enough
Travis Shaw will once again be trying to show why the job should be his, as he did leading up to the 2016 season. His bat though will most likely never reach the levels desired for a major league 3rd baseman to get the job on a full-time basis, especially in Boston. The job could have been his, and he had a huge chance to be the club's number one player in the hot corner for many years to come, but he didn’t take it. Instead we went into the playoffs with the debate of who should play there still raging.
Holt too versatile
That debate was between him and Brock Holt, Holt is probably more reliable and adds more to the club than Shaw does if you take away just the bat. Holt’s gift and curse though is his versatility. It means that he’ll never be able to tie down just one position, but the counter argument would be that it’s his versatility that earns him a spot on the roster. He’s not good enough to hold down one spot for a whole year.
The Panda revival?
When we come to big Panda, Pablo Sandoval. He’s got the talent, he’s got the ability, he’s got everyone in Boston pulling their hair out wondering why these big contracts never seem to work out. Something has to be done with Sandoval, we have to try and make it work. There are options of platoons at 1st and 3rd base as well as time batting as our designated hitter. What will happen with the DH spot remains to be seen, but Sandoval is an option if it doesn’t work out at 3rd.
Then there is Moncada, he of eight consecutive strikeouts to suck the hype right out of him. The natural 2nd baseman isn’t getting a game there anytime soon, so 3rd it’ll have to be. Hopefully he can make an impact in spring training, but it seems most likely at this stage that he’ll start the season in the minors. He has the talent to take the job full-time, and hopefully by the end of the season we’ll be forgetting that he didn’t start off at a 3rd baseman, much in the way it’s easy to forget Mookie Betts was an infielder.
It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, it’s a big story again as all the other positions are settled except for the catcher. The outfield is set in stone, as are the middle infielders. 1st base has some doubt, just due the possibility of Hanley Ramirez moving to DH (either way the position isn’t an issue), but apart from that the line-up looks great. It may be that there is a revolving door on 1st, 3rd and DH with Ramirez, Moncada, Sandoval and Holt (when needed) constantly rotating through them.
Hope for the future
Hopefully by the All-Star break it won’t be an issue, hopefully that’s due to the fact that Moncada finds his feet in the majors like Benintendi did and starts to look at home. He is the future, like with most prospects there is an impatient desire for that future to be the present as soon as possible. I just hope that if we get to the playoffs again, we aren’t talking about the best of the worst options. #RedSox #Baseball