BOSTON – To make room on the 25-man roster for right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, who will start Saturday night at Fenway Park against the Rays (his first major league starts since July 31, 2011, while with the Dodgers), the Red Sox optioned Daniel Nava back to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Nava had just been recalled on May 24, when Shane Victorino was placed on the disabled list. Since then, Nava appeared in five games, going hitless in 10 at-bats with a walk and two strikeouts. Overall, he is batting .130, going 10-for-77, with 19 strikeouts and four extra-base hits (two doubles, two home runs) in 22 games this season.
“The way other guys were swinging the bat you go with who you feel is putting up the best at-bats at the time,” said manager John Farrell. “We’re at a stretch where we’re looking for every player that was currently in what would be seen as a positive trend. And the opportunities didn’t present themselves as much for Daniel.”
Nava was optioned on April 23 to work on his plate approach.
“He made some adjustments with his set-up,” Farrell said. “He narrowed his base some, which before going down there was a tendency to lift and a number of balls in the air rather than a pure line drive stroke. When Daniel is right, it’s one of the purest left-handed swings that we have, an all-field approach, and he’s still working to get back to gain that consistency.”
The Sox could have sent right-hander Alex Wilson or outfielder/first baseman Alex Hassan, was called up Friday for the first time in his career, instead of Nava.
“Given the workload of the bullpen of late, we wanted to keep Alex Wilson with multi-inning capability in the event the need arise so we’re not overtaxing that group that’s been taxed,” Farrell said. “Keeping Alex Hassan was a right-handed bat given the balance of the lineup and the number of left-handed hitters that we currently have. So those were the reasons that went into this.”