Pablo Sandoval became one of Major League Baseball's priciest bench players on Thursday. Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell announced on Thursday that Pablo Sandoval will not be in the starting lineup to begin the regular season.

Travis Shaw, a former Kent State star who was called up during the season last year, has been named Boston’s starting third baseman. Farrell says he met with both players Thursday morning to inform them of the decision. Defense was apparently the deciding factor.

Shaw has outperformed Sandoval by a wide margin in spring training, hitting .333 with an OPS of 886 in 61 plate appearances. Sandoval, who earns $18 million per season compared to Shaw’s $500,000, is hitting just .244. He also committed four errors in his first 11 games.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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