TORONTO (AP) — The biggest lesson Travis Shaw took away from a disappointing season is that this year can't get much worse.
Shaw, who signed a one-year deal worth $4 million with the Toronto Blue Jays late last month, is hoping a change of scenery — and an opportunity to play every day — will help him regain his form.
The 29-year-old infielder hit just .157 with a .281 on-base percentage and .270 slugging over 86 games for the Milwaukee Brewers last season, his worst in four years in the majors.
"Last year was about as bad as you could possibly go," Shaw said Friday in a conference call with Toronto media. "Physically I was in a good spot, but mentally coming to the field every day (I was) just beating myself up. They say don't look at the scoreboard, just start over each day. And I tried to do that, but I mean that scoreboard stares you in the face every single day.
"I grew a lot mentally over the year and I did make a step forward in that department. I'd never really experienced failure to that level and going through that, I think it's going to help me big time going into this year."
In 2018, Shaw had a career-high 32 home runs and hit .241. In 2017, he hit .273 with 31 homers and 101 RBIs.
Shaw attributed his steep dip in production to a minor adjustment he made to his swing heading into the season. And while he said he was starting to feel back to his usual self by the end of the year, he didn't get a chance to prove that sitting on the bench as the Brewers made their playoff push.
"It didn't work out, obviously, it kind of backfired on me," Shaw said. "I fought my body and I fought myself all year trying to get back to where I was the two years prior to that."