Red Sox

Travis Shaw convinced that his hitting slump is temporary


Travis Shaw convinced that his hitting slump is temporary

BOSTON -- Travis Shaw finds himself in the first honest-to-goodness slump of his major league career, having gone just 1-for-18 on the just-completed road trip, and with a longer dip, covering the last 19 games in which he's hitting just .164 (12-for-73).

Still, Shaw is convinced that this skid is temporary.

"Me and Chili (Davis, hitting coach) have been working and you just keep  going,'' said Shaw. "You search for something. You're looking for that feeling that you had a few weeks ago. Sometimes, it just takes time and repetitions. Eventually, it's going to come. You just keep looking for something, searching for something and keep going.

"Slumps happen and this isn't going to be the last one. So you just keep working.''

Shaw has noticed that his pitch selection is off, as he chases pitches he shouldn't.

"There's a pretty consistent attack plan from (opposing) teams right now,'' said Shaw, "and I have a pretty good idea about what that is. I kind of know what to look for, at least in terms of what the trend has been the last week and a half. I feel like I have a pretty good attack plan, too.

"That chess match never stops. It just happens that just when my swing wasn't feeling great, they kind of (figured out a way to pitch me). It's bad timing. I don't feel well and they're executing and that can be a bad combination. But like I said, I think I have a good idea what to do from here on out.''

The hope is that Shaw, who has traditionally hit well at Fenway, will use this 10-game homestand at Fenway to straighten out in the batter's box.

"It's that Monster, trying to go the other way,'' said Shaw. "It keeps me on pitches and keeps from being too far out front on a lot of pitches, which, honestly, is what kind of happened in Minnesota. I felt, for the most part, the first game in San Francisco, was a pretty good game. I was 0-for-5, but I felt I hit three balls hard. Minnesota wasn't good at all. I was out in front of a lot of pitches, so I'm gearing everything back and re-setting.''

Now at home for a week and a half, and with the left field wall at which to aim, Shaw naturally figures to stay back a little longer and see pitches better. The results, he hopes, will follow.

For Tuesday's game, at least, those hits will have to come from lower in the batting order, as Shaw was dropped to eighth in the Red Sox' lineup.

"I think the most important thing is to stay with a disciplined strike zone,'' said John Farrell. "I think there's a pretty clear book used by teams attacking him. (He needs to) stay with a defined strike zone and not expand.''

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam

Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

File photo

Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”

Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.

“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”

The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

NBC Sports Boston Photo

The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

0:21 - With less than two week before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Red Sox don’t have all of the answers for their rotation. Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich project their Opening Day rotation and discuss the lack of depth in it.

4:39 - Will Boston’s version of the ‘Killer B’s’ return in full force this season? Lou and Evan analyze the performances of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.

10:07 - Buy or sell? John Farrell will find another managerial position this season; J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton; Dave Dombrowski has put the best possible team out there for 2018.