Will Nava Return To LF?


Will Daniel Nava finally return from exile?

The media has been trolling for a story on Nava being excluded from the starting line-up during the post season activities. Move along, no story here, as Nava has said all the right things for his public persona of being a team player. With his circuitous route to the major leagues Nava has repeatedly stated he is just happy to be here. At least that is for public consumption.

Oct 22, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Daniel Nava (29) speaks to the media the day before game one of the 2013 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Sox have lost a game will John Farrell‘s personal Talisman, Jonny Gomes, return to his part time role? Simply put Nava is a better hitter and fielder than Gomes.

During the season they both had specific roles that occasionally overlapped. Nava, of course, can play first base with some degree of skill, while Gomes is limited to his post in left field and to his specific hitting skill set – pounding on left handed pitching. No chance that Nava will replace either David Ortiz or Mike Napoli at first base in this series, so his opening is back to left field where he belongs.

Gomes has been his roadblock of late. Farrell noticed that, coincidentally, when Gomes is in the post season lineup the Sox win. Gomes will certainly pick his spots offensively and defensively, but the fact remains he is simply not hitting in this post season. As far as his defense? Ah….that can be an adventure. Nava in left in St. Louis could give that range factor a slight boost.

The season Nava has had is remarkable for a player who could well have ended up back in Pawtucket. He hit over .300. His OBP is excellent – among the best of all the league outfielders. Nava is capable of grinding out extensive at bats. Nava belongs back in left field and I am sure that is exactly where you will see him for game three.