When the Red Sox traded corner infielder Travis Shaw to the Brewers in exchange for setup man Tyler Thornburg this past December, not many people thought that the move was note-worthy.
Shaw won the the starting third base job for the Sox in 2016 over the soon to be shelved Pablo Sandoval, and he started the season strong. However, he faded away as the season wore on and finished the year batting .242 with 71 RBI. While the latter total certainly isn’t bad, it was not what the team was expecting from the Mayor of Ding Dong and his lack of seasoning may have been the reason Boston sent him on his way rather than Sandoval (Shaw is 27 but this is just his second full season in the Majors).
Ironically, however, thus far into the 2017 season the move has worked out far better for Milwaukee than Boston. Alongside breakout sensation Eric Thames, Shaw has helped stabilize the Brewers’ shaky infield and has driven in 21 runs. Thornburg, meanwhile, has not played a game for the Red Sox yet because of a shoulder injury and there is still no timetable for his return.
Since arriving in Milwaukee, the Mayor has reopened his office. A couple of his six homers so far have been monsters, including a clutch three-run shot last night in the 10th to give the Brew Crew a win over hated rival St. Louis.
For a Brewers team fighting to be relevant once again, Shaw is proving to be a great fit. His six home runs have been a solid supplement to Thames and the duo has helped take the power-hitting pressure off of franchise player Ryan Braun. As a result, Milwaukee is 14-13 as of 5/2 and tied for the NL Central lead with defending World Series champion Chicago (it’s been a while since anyone was able to say that).
The Brewers still have a lot holes to fill and I’m not sure if they’re destined for October this year, but the team is having a solid start to 2017, and Shaw has been a big piece of it. A trade that was thought to be a throw-away has yielded great results for Milwaukee.