Red Sox: Michael Chavis praises Dustin Pedroia for mentorship

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 29: Michael Chavis #23 of the Boston Red Sox at bat during the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on April 29, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 29: Michael Chavis #23 of the Boston Red Sox at bat during the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on April 29, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox promoted Michael Chavis in 2019 to play second base, the longtime home of Dustin Pedroia, and the veteran flourished as a mentor.

When I look back at the 2019 season for the Red Sox there aren’t many positives that I can list off for you. We had the obvious pitching dominance from Eduardo Rodriguez and Brandon Workman. Then at the dish, we saw Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Christian Vazquez all go off. But for me, one of the best stories of last year was the promotion of Michael Chavis to the 40-Man roster.

The dynamic infielder has predominantly played either first or third base but with injuries piling up at second, he was given a new task. For the first time in his playing life, Chavis was given the task of manning second base for the Red Sox. Boston had seen the injury bug strike down Brock Holt, Tzu Wei Lin, Eduardo Nunez, and Dustin Pedroia. With a massive hole at second it was up to Chavis to learn the position, and fast.

Luckily for the man we’d learn to love as the Ice Horse, he had one hell of a mentor to show him the ropes. While on a recent episode of Barstool Sports’ “Section-10 Podcast,” Chavis talked about his debut in the Majors and how Pedroia was a massive supporter of his. He told several stories about not just his time with the Red Sox in 2019 but also in previous big-league camps with Pedey.

One thing that we know about Pedroia is that he wants to share any and all knowledge and experience that he has. His story is one that can be an inspiration to Chavis as both are a bit on the smaller side and have to work harder than many of their contemporaries. One story that I instantly loved was one where Chavis was warming up during DP and taking grounders without knowing Pedroia was watching.

After the workout, Pedey pulled him aside and started giving him advice on how to position his footwork to better suit being at second base. Some may not think about it but second base is completely different from his more usual third and especially his secondary first base. The face that Pedroia had zero requirements to work with the guy that could effectively be his replacement speaks mountains about his character.

"“I was literally just warming up, feeling it out. And I came back into the locker room. I didn’t even know he was there watching,” Chavis said. “He just came up and starts talking to me about footwork around the bag for turning double plays and the way to push off my back foot towards second base.”"

Red Sox Nation, in my eyes, takes Pedroia for granted. He’s been a part of our lives since his rookie season in 2007. We saw him win the World Series and Rookie of the Year in that same campaign just to follow it up with the AL MVP in 2008. Pedey’s been a fixture in our baseball lives for over a decade and I think many have just gotten used to him being there.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen what Red Sox baseball is like without Dustin Pedroia on the field. It’s been a carousel of players at second base but none have stuck quite like the Laser Show. It’s unclear of Chavis is the heir apparent but in my opinion, he offers them the best chance at success at the position.

Add in the fact that Pedroia is clearly motivated to help the next generation take the field for the team he loves, and it’s a recipe for the future.

"“And I think that’s just the epitome of how much everybody respects him. I think everybody knows everything he’s doing and how incredible he is as a teammate. But even when he’s not playing, that respect is still there. Everything that he knows, and everything that he’s experienced, that dude’s a fricking gamer, man. And I love that,” Chavis added."

Throughout the interview, the Ice Horse spoke with nothing but reverence for Dustin. You can hear it not just the words he uses but the tone in which he says them in. Chavis even mentions that he idolized Pedey due to their similar builds and work ethic. It’s pretty clear to see the similarities and as a guy myself that tops out at 6’0″ and 190lbs, I fully understand it.

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When you talk about the respect that Pedroia garners it’s throughout the entire team, not just with a handful of players. If I had to put my finger on why he is held in such high regard it comes down to the fact that he may have given his career for the game. If he had just the one knee injury and nothing else, he may have returned. But years of beating the hell out of his body on top of that may be the final nail in the playing coffin.

As for Chavis, whatever the 2020 season presents itself as could be massive for him. Not just is it going to be his second season in the Majors but it’ll be his chance to cement himself as a lock for the 40-Man. Putting another strong campaign under his belt will make it difficult for any manager to question him making the squad out of spring training. With the chance of more reps under his belt and a legendary mentor in his corner, his outlook as massive.

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Michael Chavis is everything that a fan should want in a player on their favorite team. He doesn’t throw a fit if he’s not starting in a game and won’t question the manager. It didn’t matter if he was at first, second, or third in 2019, he just wanted to put on that Red Sox jersey and play ball. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. It’s why we all fell in love with baseball in the first place, and both Michael Chavis and Dustin Pedroia exemplify that.