JUPITER, Fla. -- At first glance, the Red Sox lineup for Monday raised some eyebrows.
It had Travis Shaw playing third, with Pablo Sandoval as the DH.
But with the Red Sox shuffling players in and out of the lineup on their three-day trip to Florida's East Coast, manager John Farrell noted that Tuesday, when the Sox play the Miami Marlins in the same ballpark, the two would flip-flop, with Shaw as the DH and Sandoval at third.
However, Farrell later acknowledged that one of the reasons that Shaw has not been tried in left field -- something the Sox said they wanted to look at -- was so they could get as many looks as possible of him at third base.
"It is,'' confirmed Farrell. "To be as candid with you as possible, yes.''
Both players enjoyed strong games Monday in the Red Sox' 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Shaw was 3-for-4 with two doubles, upping his average to .474 for the spring. Sandoval, meanwhile, was 2-for-3 with two RBI, lifting his Grapefruit League average to .290.
"My swing feels really good right now, both sides of the field,'' said Shaw. "I'm just trying to stay in this groove the last couple of weeks of camp. Really, the only other [streak] I can compare this to is when I came up last August, but that was more power-wise than it was hit-wise. This is pretty good. I feel like I'm in a good spot right now.
"I'm confident in what I can do at the plate. I don't think this is a fluke. I think I can continue to carry this over.''
Farrell hinted Saturday that there's an active competition for the starting third-base job, but Shaw isn't trying to analyze things too much.
"It's hard for me to say,'' said Shaw. "I would like to think that I am (in competition for a starting spot). But I'm just trying to let my at-bats do the talking, and hopefully they'll speak for themselves. But I don't really know. I've never really been in this situation. We'll see how it plays out.''
Farrell also conceded that it's difficult to evaluate the two this spring because they're such different hitters. While Shaw is a patient, steady, line drive hitter, Sandoval is far more aggressive and unconventional hitter, prone to streakiness.
"I think that's where you have to look at the broader scope,'' said Farrell, "and not base things solely on spring training, even though that's going to give you the most recent information. You have to look at a bigger period of time and factor in last year as part of that.
"That's probably the best answer I can give you. If we were evaluating the position solely on offense (that would make it harder). But that's not the case. That's where you look at the broader scope and a longer period of time.''
Shaw entered Monday with glowing offensive numbers, but his defense has also impressed.
"He's shown good range, particularly to his glove side,'' said Farrell. "I think there's an internal clock there, like most infielders, where there's an understanding (of how much time he has to make plays), with the exception of one play. Might have been home against Marlins, where a well above-average runner (beat out) a base hit. But the internal clock and the range has been good.''