Last night, Ryan Lavarnway started at first base for the Red Sox. In his second at-bat of the game, Lavarnway felt pain in his wrist after he fouled one off. Lavarnway stayed in the game until he headed to the on-deck circle for his third at-bat of the day. While swinging the bat, Lavarnway again felt pain and asked to be taken out so that a healthy player could help the team and hit. Boston then pinch hit for him with Daniel Nava. Lavarnway, 26, has played in four games this season totaling four at-bats in which he has yet to record a hit.
In response to the injury Boston, low on first base depth called up Alex Hassan, a corner outfielder and first baseman from Pawtucket. Hassan, who turned 26 in April is batting just .217 on the year in Pawtucket along with a .318 OBP in 45 games. Hassan, who is known for his outstanding plate discipline, appears to have lost a step this year as he has struck out 53 times this season. The Milton Massachusetts native had a much better 2013 campaign when he hit .321 in 55 games with the PawSox while boasting a .431 OBP.
Hassan will not be here long, and is nothing more than an emergency backup for Boston. It is likely that he will play in a game, but is unlikely to make a major impact on the big league club. This season, a plus for Hassan is that he is hitting .288 off of lefty pitchers along with a .356 OBP, making him a solid pinch hitting candidate if it comes down to it. In the field, Hassan is versatile playing both corner outfield positions and first base, but it seems as though he is the backup first baseman for Boston as of right now based off of the depth chart.
To recap, with Ryan Lavarnway on the DL, Boston is low on depth. If Boston gets much lower than Alex Hassan on the depth charts due to injuries, there is a serious problem. Not that Hassan is not a talented player, but after him, there are no first basemen left on the 40-man roster. Once Mike Napoli fully recovers or Shane Victorino recovers, whoever comes back first, Hassan will be sent down to Pawtucket.