The Boston Red Sox recently called up their top prospect Michael Chavis and he’s more than earned his spot on the roster since getting the promotion.
The Red Sox ran into a stretch recently where their infield was crushed by the injury bug. Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt, and Eduardo Nunez all went on the IL within what felt like seconds of each other. To combat the loss of depth on the main roster Alex Cora called up Tzu-Wei Lin and top prospect Michael Chavis.
Lin hasn’t been a major difference maker for the Red Sox as he’s only gotten a pair of hits but he was brought up more for his stability in the field. Chavis, on the other hand, has been a major mood shifter not only in the lineup but in the clubhouse. He is the epitome of energy and when he contributes it acts almost like a spark for the rest of the team.
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With Pedey, Nunez, and Holt either already making rehab starts or about to, Lin and Chavis’ time on the rost may be limited. But it shouldn’t be. Lin, I fully understand sending back down to the minors as he hasn’t offered anything on offense which is a category that the Sox are sorely lacking in. Chavis though has been making things happen not only on the field but in the batter’s box.
Big Mike made some noise right away when he got into a game with Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field and smashed a double to deep center. Red Sox Nation instantly took notice of the kid that is set to be the future of the franchise. He’s played in 9 games to this point and is showing some great plate awareness while also having the impatience of a young player.
In the 9 games that he has under his belt to this point Chavis already has 3 homers and 8 RBI. That’s some seriously impressive stuff for a guy so early in his career. It isn’t all rainbow and sunshine though as Chavis shows the negatives of a power hitter with his 8 K’s. But there is a silver lining to balance out the batting stats and that would be the 8 BB he’s earned. This makes him an incredibly intriguing player to watch from a fan standpoint.
Chavis also has the other aspect of the game covered since he has been called up to the big club. Though he’s primarily a first/third baseman by trade he’s been practicing heavily at second base this year with the questions surround Pedroia growing. So not only can he hit and get on base but he is also versatile in the field and can be plugged in wherever AC needs him.
So with Chavis doing some pretty damn good stuff since he’s come up to the Red Sox from the minors who is the odd man out when the guys start coming off the IL? I feel like we’ll see Nunez and Pedroia set to return before Holt just due to the setbacks Brock keeps running into. If both come back at a similar time I think the first move will be to drop Lin and a bullpen arm to make room for the two infielders.
The big problem will come when Holt is set to return because that will for Cora to either drop another bullpen arm, Chavis, or one of his main guys to make room for Brock. If it’s me I would try and find a new home for Nunez. Whether that be through a trade with another team or giving him the DFA treatment and seeing how things play out. To me, Pedroia will be a Red Sox for life and even if he isn’t playing they’ll find another role for him and Holt offers more in the field and at the plate than Nunez.
The extra bump in the road that may help the Red Sox decide on what they do as far as the roster is concerned is the fact that both Holt and Nunez are set to be free agents at the end of the season. It may come down to the opportunity to get something for them while they can or possibly lose them in the winter for nothing. Add in that current first base duo Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce are also set to be free agents at the end of the year and Chavis has even more working in his favor.
Even though the sample size for Chavis is small in the majors I just can’t see the team wanting to send him back to the minors after what he’s done so far. He’s absolutely lived up to his high prospect billing and offers the energy this team is lacking. Cora needs to look big picture and what pieces can help turn this team around and at the moment one of those pieces is Michael Chavis.
The Red Sox will be facing some tough decisions with their roster in the not so distant future. Will they sacrifice the spark of their young prospect in Chavis for the experience of their returning stars? Will they pull the trigger and try and move some chess pieces in order to keep Chavis in the majors? We’ll find out soon enough and at the moment any and every decision can have a ripple effect on the rest of the season.