During Saturday’s game, Travis Shaw was benched after a lack of effort running to first. Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell did this in order to remind him that complacency will not win games.
In the sixth inning of the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday night game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Travis Shaw hit a routine ground ball back at the pitcher, Adam Morgan. Instead of running it out, he jogged down the line. It’s possible he could have been safe due to an inaccurate throw to first, but his lack of effort made him a sure out.
Especially in the NL Central, a lapse of effort even for one play can be fatal. If the team wants to stay in contention for a playoff spot, the complacency bug needed to be squashed. Craig Counsell‘s solution was to pull Shaw out of the game and replace him with Hernan Perez.
For a guy like Shaw who plays day in and day out, there isn’t much of a chance he will be replaced. Shaw has hit 14 home runs, and he boasts a .248 batting average so far on the season.
According to ESPN, Travis Shaw has shown this kind of complacency before. On previous occasions, Counsell had a conversation with Shaw about it.
The play had no effect on the final outcome of the game, and the Crew cruised to a 12-3 victory over the Phillies. But in close games, little details like running hard on every ground ball make a difference.
By removing Shaw from the lineup, Counsell was setting a precedent not only for the popular third baseman, but for the rest of the group as well. Regardless of the caliber of player, all team members are held to the same standard. Effort is controllable in all situations, and a lack of it is intolerable.
Shaw returned to the Milwaukee Brewers’ Sunday lineup. The hope is that his benching was enough to prompt showing effort on all plays. And not just by Shaw, by all of the players within the organization.