On the final days of spring training, the Red Sox had assorted choices for the final few spots on their bench.
One went to Mike Carp and he has provided an unexpected lift, hitting .458/.508/.959 in 26 plate appearances. He has eight extra-base hits and six RBIs. Carp's strong play in Shane Victorino's absence could earn him additional playing time against righthanders down the road.
Daniel Nava has been so good (.289/.385/.500) that he has taken over a starting spot and bumped Jonny Gomes to the bench. The Sox now regard Nava as a regular and trust him to play right field at Fenway Park.
Jackie Bradley Jr. helped the Sox win two games in New York then slumped mightily. Then, as was expected, he was optioned back to Pawtucket when David Ortiz was activated. If Victorino ends up on the disabled list later this week, Bradley could return.
Lyle Overbay, who was released, is hitting a modest .241/.267/.446 for the Yankees but has eight extra-base hits and 12 RBIs. He has been far better than what New York expected.
Ryan Sweeney, who turned down a spot in Pawtucket, signed with the Cubs and agreed to go to Triple A Iowa. He has mashed there (.356/.413/.685) but has yet to be called up to Chicago. Given that the Cubs are 10-16 and have scored only 92 runs, Sweeney can't be thrilled with that.
Mitch Maier, who did stick with the Red Sox organization, was hitting .321/.424/.500 in eight games for Pawtucket before returning to the disabled list with a wrist sprain.
A few minor league notes: Double A Portland righthander Brandon Workman was perfect for six innings against Reading on Tuesday night before allowing a single. Workman allowed a run on two hits over 6.2 innings with one walk and six strikeouts. The 24-year-old was a second round pick in 2010. … Daniel Bard allowed two runs on two hits and a walk for Portland in his first game with the Sea Dogs after being demoted by the Sox. … Infielder Jonathan Hee, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2008 and reached Pawtucket last season, has retired from baseball. ... Alfredo Aceves starts for Pawtucket on Thursday.