Michael Chavis is showing the Red Sox he should stay
Last night was one hell of a game for the Red Sox and it got off to a hot start right out of the gate. Being able to get a win from the white-hot Oakland A’s was much needed for Boston, especially after losing three games in a row. One of the big reasons that they were able to salvage the finale in the series comes down to Michael Chavis and his intense level of play.
The Ice Horse was recalled to the Majors to fill in the void left by some of the injuries that have hit the roster as of late. In his first game back he crushed a homer and reminded everyone of the power that’s in his bat. He once again made some waves yesterday as Alex Cora put him in the lead-off spot and Chavis rewarded him for that trust. When he spoke to the media after the game he made it clear that he was trying to send a message and earn a spot back on this team.
"“I’m just trying to earn a spot,” he said. “Every day that I get a chance to play, I’m trying to make the most of it. Just trying to make an impact, honestly.”"
Boston’s offense has been the definition of stagnant over the last few games but that all changed last night. In his first at-bat, Chavis didn’t show a single bit of intimidation with Sean Manaea on the mound and he blasted a shot to centerfield. He sprinted right on contact and was able to turn a single into an exciting double. It was pretty clear that he had it in the back of his mind from the second he left the batter’s box that he was going to shoot for second.
Things went according to his plan and Ramón Laureano took a little too long to field the ball and the Ice Horse dove headfirst into second base to ignite the Red Sox offense. J.D. Martinez would follow that up with a double of his own, scoring Chavis, and then Xander Bogaerts smashed a two-run bomb. Boston couldn’t touch two of Oakland’s weaker pitchers but was able to beat up on their ace, one hell of a confidence boost for a club that’s on a skid.
"“When I saw him dive, I knew he was going to take a second to get up so off the bat, I’m just trying to take a hard turn around first,” Chavis said. “Then it’s just a read where I’m just waiting to see what happens and seeing it unfold. He didn’t hop up quite as quick as I anticipated, so once I saw that, I thought I had a chance.”"
Cora credited Chavis with setting the tone for the night and getting everyone else in the lineup amped up to do their part. We would see a similar play later in the game where he smoked a ball down the first-base line and again sprinted it out into a diving double. He only went 2-5 on the night but his hits came at times when the Red Sox needed a spark and he also scored two of Boston’s eight runs. I’m not sure how much time he has left as both Kiké Hernandez and Christian Arroyo are on pace to return next week, but alternate moves can be made.
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If I had Chaim Bloom’s phone number I’d let him know he’s gotta drop Franchy Cordero, Austin Brice, and Josh Taylor in order to keep Chavis and re-instate Hernandez and Arroyo. There’s no need to have 14 pitchers on the roster, especially when it comes at the cost of the bench. Drop the weaker arms in the bullpen that have done nothing to help this team win and keep the guys that are giving their all to put tallies in the win column.
I’m sure it’s hard for Chavis to go from playing for the Red Sox at the Major League level for a couple of years just to find himself back in Triple-A. I think he’s more than making his case for why he should remain with the big club after this IL coverage stint and he may even force Bloom’s hand in keeping him here. When he was called up I wrote that he needed to make everything out of this second chance to prove he still be here, and he’s doing just that. There are definitely people that should be dropped down to Worcester but Chavis isn’t one of them.
"“It’s sure as hell easier to play as hard as I do when I have a Red Sox jersey on,” he said."
It’s hard to tell if we’ll be seeing Michael Chavis in a Red Sox uniform once the injured players return but I think it’d be a bad move to send him back down. In his short time in Boston, he’s hitting .278/.278/.556/.883 with a homer, two RBI, and four runs. He’s got six strikeouts which is to be expected with the type of hitter Chavis is but I’ll take that if he’s going to keep mashing doubles and homers. This stint could mean big things for his future and if he continues to play at this level, he may finish out 2021 at Fenway Park.