Apr 2, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Daniel Nava (29) singles in the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Red Sox defeated the Orioles 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Roster crunch: The case against Daniel Nava


With Shane Victorino set to begin a rehab assignment on Saturday, the Boston Red Sox outfield is due for a shakeup. The glut of outfielders includes Daniel Nava, Grady Sizemore, Jackie Bradley Jr., Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp. While Sizemore looks settled in center field, the rest is up for debate. This is the second in a series of articles. Previously: Jackie Bradley Jr.

Daniel Nava

Positions: All outfield positions, though center field would be in an emergency. He started one game there last year and made an error, but had reps in Spring Training this year. Started learning first base last season — eight starts last year, two so far this year.

Skill Set:

• Terrible at the plate in 2014 (.137 BA, .516 OPS)
• Has decent power — 12 homers last year, two this year
• Generally, an on-base machine (.385 OBP last season, .362 career)
• Solid outfield arm, nothing to be scared of but keeps people honest
• Reliable glove

Contract: 1yr/$556k, Arbitration Eligible: 2015

Minor League Options: Yes

The Case Against: For a working class city like Boston, Daniel Nava is the kind of player fans like to root for. He came from the independent leagues and worked his way to the majors and stayed with it despite being taken off the 40-man roster in 2011. As Joe Meehan said, Jackie Bradley Jr. is probably the player who is going down when the time comes no matter what he does. Daniel Nava though, despite all of last year’s consistent play and presence on the roster all season in 2013, still has one minor league option remaining. He can be sent down to the minors without any team having the chance to claim him.

By almost any statistic, Daniel Nava has been terrible in 2014. One bright spot is that he has already hit two home runs this season. While he hit 12 homers last year, only two of them came after June 18, so there has to be concern that he is streaky power-wise. His play at first base, from last year to this year, has been decent for someone still learning the position, but he lacks the experience of Mike Carp, and certainly lacks the ability of Mike Napoli. He could not come up with a throw Wednesday night that led to a run.

Two other factors can be considered when deciding who to send down. Nava’s first base skills could use some improvement if they want to plug him in at first base more as the season wears on. He could get those kind of reps at Pawtucket. Though one can argue he has only had 58 plate appearances coming into tonight, that is still one-tenth of the season and the Red Sox need offense right now. Maybe he could get himself going down at Pawtucket. It seemed to help the slow starts of Bradley and Will Middlebrooks as their hitting improved when they were called back up.

Though Bradley looks like the obvious choice, his continued consistent play on both sides of the ball could make the Red Sox look at Daniel Nava to solve their roster crunch.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Daniel Nava Jackie Bradley Shane Victorino

  • John Finn Jr

    I would send Nava to Pawtucket, myself. It means they would not have to get rid of somebody.

    • Martha Homrig

      WELL LAST YEAR NAVA HELPED THEM GET TO THE PLAY OFFS AND WORLD SERIES SO BECAUSE HE IS STARTING OUT DULL GET RID OF HIM AND SEND HIM DOWN I THINK BRADLEY SUCKS SO DOES HERRERA SO DOES GOMES AND CARP BOREGARTS MAKING ERRORS COME ON PEOPLE ARE WE WATCHING THE SAME GAMES”

      • Sean Sylver

        #TeamNava in the house!!!

      • John Finn Jr

        Nava is a monetball player. He costs little and if you are lucky, he will give you a couple good seasons. Both him and Gomes are platoon players at best as one only hits good against righties and the other only hits against lefties. A good player hits good against both. When his deal with them runs out, they will not re sign him. Look for the Red Sox to make a few bids at free agent powerhitting outfielders…perhaps Jason Heyward ?

        • Sean Sylver

          Or the long-rumored pursuit of Giancarlo Stanton!

          • John Finn Jr

            I would like that !

  • Sean Sylver

    Nava’s hitting and fielding have not been inspiring in 2014. But I have to hold out hope that last year was no fluke – Nava has gotten on base at every level and the last thing he needs is another trip to Pawtucket. Hopefully he can swing his way out of it.

    • PWNdroia

      JBJ is also an on-base guy when hits. His on-base percentage is over .350 right now and I’m almost positive it’s due to get better.

  • Rick M

    What do they called the Hellenic Flu at Fenway? I can see an “injury” happening. Maybe Farrell is looking for volunteers? Nava is 31 and Carp is 27 and JBJ 24. The age factor has to figure in along with the money factor – Gomes is at 5M. I look for Nava to get traded.

  • joel49

    How about carrying one less pitcher and cutting Badenhop loose?

    • Sean Sylver

      I think Farrell likes the flexibility of having more relievers – just look at the other night. Badenhop hasn’t been great, but even if they cut him loose, they’d probably bring some other pitcher in. Having six outfielders, on the other hand, is completely unnecessary.

  • Nick Johnson

    Send nava to minors to work on 1st base skills would nt hurt he isnt hitting now anyway