With all of the infield talent on the Red Sox roster, there simply is no room for Michael Chavis, without making any roster moves.
One of the most populated of all positional areas is the infield for the Boston Red Sox. Adding another infielder is simply not in the cards at this time, but Michael Chavis is making a strong case during spring training.
The 23-year-old is hitting .286 with 4 homers and 10 RBI in only 21 at-bats during spring training. Although he missed a majority of last year with a suspension linked to a banned substance, he has answered the call this spring.
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As I said, the infield is packed with players with a diverse range of skills. Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce will rotate at first base, Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez will handle a majority of the workload at second until Dustin Pedroia can provide stability at the position – if he even can anymore. Xander Bogaerts covers shortstop, and Rafael Devers mans third base. It’s hard to even see him as fill-in player with the lack of space on the roster.
It is a hard reality to watch unfold, a great talent with little room to grow. While his competition has mainly been a lot of AA and AAA players, it will only increase in difficulty from here. How he learns to adapt to the competition and how he can perform against MLB talent will be the key to watch for throughout the duration of spring training.
Another piece of his game to watch is his defensive growth. He has had some hiccups this spring with his footwork especially. Booting a groundball while running towards first base in his last game. On the upside, his ball transfer has been a promising sign, something Red Sox prospects haven’t always had in the past.
For example, one of Bogaerts’ biggest issues during his first full season was transferring the ball on the throw while playing third base. In addition, his indecisiveness when trying to stretch a hard play for an out cost him his 20 errors in his first full season. Devers has shown flashes of excellence of defense as well. Good awareness along with great footwork and hustle for diving plays is one thing but he still lacks the confidence in his throws to first.
If Chavis can show more control on the defensive end of the game, it may force the team to find room for him, while it’s more likely they want some more time in AAA Pawtucket. There is too much talent, and not enough positions to justify a roster spot for Chavis at this time. With just a couple of weeks to go until Opening Day, only time will tell if the roster has a shakeup or if they’re just a hungrier version of last year.