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Red Sox demote Daniel Nava to the minors

Apr 23, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT

ALCS - Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox - Game One Getty Images

Daniel Nava was one of the Red Sox’s best hitters last season, batting .303 with 12 homers, a .385 on-base percentage, and an .831 OPS in 134 games, but he’s off to a 10-for-67 (.149) start this year and Alex Speier of reports that Boston has decided to demote him back to Triple-A.

Boston benched Nava regularly throughout the playoffs in favor of Jonny Gomes, so it’s perhaps not a huge shock that they’re unwilling to give him a longer leash now. Still, at age 31 and coming off a very good season as a lineup regular the move to the minors is definitely a surprise.

Shane Victorino being on the verge of returning from the disabled list allows the Red Sox to make a change in the outfield, where they’ll presumably go with Victorino, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Grady Sizemore as the regulars and use Gomes versus left-handed pitching. And it seems likely that a few teams will give the Red Sox a call to see if Nava is available in trade.

  1. TheMorningStar - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Nava has dealt with much bigger obstacles than this just to reach MLB.

    He’ll rake down in Pawtucket and be back in Boston soon.

  2. Danger Mode - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Please, oh please, let the Mariners make a trade here.

  3. professor30 - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Not so sure about that, he’s looked awful both at the plate and in the field too.

  4. themuddychicken - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    I still don’t understand why he wasn’t used more in the playoffs, I was fairly upset at Farrell for that.

    This makes me sad (Nava’s story and personality make him so easy to root for), but given the options available, I understand the move.

    • buggieowens - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      I assume, given the final outcome, that you are not longer upset at Farrell?

      • buggieowens - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        Dammit…I’m giving myself a thumbs down for the typo.

      • themuddychicken - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:49 AM

        I still don’t like the decision to abandon the Gomes/Nava platoon that was so successful during the regular season, since abandoning it did not seem to put the Sox in the best position to win.

        Of course, since they won anyway, it feels too much like nitpicking at this point.

  5. edelmanfanclub - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Love Nava, hopefully he regains his stroke down there.

  6. olaffek - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Best move they’ve made in 6 months.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      Signing Capuano?
      Resigning Napoli?
      Extending Ortiz so he finishes his career in Boston?

  7. tfbuckfutter - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    He seems like a good guy, and his story is a good story.

    I don’t see him making it. It was awesome that he had a nice season last year in part time….but I don’t think he’s good enough to hang around a contending team full time, and he’s unlikely to grow into a better player in his 30s.

    I think the best thing for everyone is for him to be moved to another team who can be more patient and see if .831 was actually a fluke or something he can produce consistently when given a shot.

  8. olaffek - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Shoulda gave Ells a haffa billion or something in between. A.J.’s a bust. No fire. Salty was seeing more pitches and made some improvements. Yeah I know it’s early and hindsight is 20/20. But it’ll still be early next week and a week after. Great past success for the Sox and HOPEFULLY this season. But I get this feeling that the organization should sometimes think past their collective ego. It would be easier to see ahead. I.E. Ainge.

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      They got their W.S. rings 3 weeks ago. Ainge brought the Celtics another championship. You’re suffering from acute Boston fan memory loss syndrome – seek help immediately.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        Unrealistic expectations too (which is shocking coming from a Sox fan, huh?).

        I had really grim expectations last season and was obviously very pleasantly surprised.

        But with all the roster turnover I went into this season with no expectation of a repeat. I view this as more of a rebuilding season anyway. They are still good enough to compete, but I thought going in the season was going to be more about building toward the future.

      • olaffek - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        I gotta great memory. That’s what hurts. Both teams coulda had a better season. Or the Sox a better start. What’s wrong with expectations from champions. Whether they were supposed to win last year or not (according to sports media palm readers), they dominated last year. As for Ainge, he could have had a better team this year but he’s the guy who would have traded Bird.
        Again, ego.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        Re: Ainge I think you’re confusing ego with rebuilding.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        They over performed last year. No one made any progress. It was just a good group of players who happened to all have pretty good seasons in the same year. There wasn’t any development. There was no reason to expect everything to fall into place again like that with the same roster.

        And so the smart thing to do is to try and work in some guys who have potential, and jettison some guys who have likely peaked or have gotten to expensive for what you can expect from them.

        But when you do that, you have to expect a dropoff initially, but hopefully it ends up being worth it in the long term. It’s rebuilding without having to completely tear everything down. And if the rookies all have an impact, and the veterans do show up strong again, you may even contend.

      • olaffek - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Re Ainge: I never had expectations for the C’s this year beyond 500. Merely stated they should have had a better year than they did. I thought it would take 3 years to be a winning team.

      • Glenn - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

        The Red Sox did not over-perform last year. Who had a career year? Everybody was within realistic expectations of performance and they were not lucky by any measure of that (one-run game record, Pythagorean win expectation, etc.). They were just not as injured and as unlucky as they were the year before.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:24 PM

        When did I say they had career years?

        I said they were good players who all had good years at the same time.

        I didn’t even say “unexpectedly” had good years. They almost all played to their established abilities.

        It is incredibly unexpected for almost everyone to all perform at the same time. (And for the record, Victorino, Saltalamacchia, Drew, Nava, Iglesias and Carp all exceeded reasonable expectations to varying degrees….and that’s not even taking into account pitching, some of whom did, indeed, have career years or unexpected career turnarounds).

  9. miguelcairo - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    How odd. He looked so good last year. Baseball is…odd.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      Totally agree. He came from nowhere, but it didn’t look fluky. He looked like a guy with a GREAT batting eye (such long plate appearances), used only against righties in a lineup that could knock him in. Weak fielder, which isn’t a huge problem for a left fielder at Fenway.

      I wish him well. I hope it’s just a slump.

      • Glenn - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

        Agreed, it was only 67 at-bats. Poor guy gets no respect.

      • dan1111 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:35 AM

        It’s a bummer for him, but it probably says more about the crowded state of the Boston outfield than their opinion of his potential. They have too many outfielders, and he is the guy that they can send to the minors.

        For his sake, I hope he gets traded to a team that can give him more of an opportunity.

  10. bronxbomber213 - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Just another domino that fell the Red Sox way last year…I’ve had countless arguments with Boston fans about how EVERYTHING went right for them last year and Nava batting .300 was one of the points along with Lester and Clay Buck both being in top form all year plus striking gold with the lights out Chinese connection in the 8th and 9th innings…what a difference a year makes in this crazy game!!

    • buggieowens - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      Are you really that ignorant that you can’t tell the difference between Chinese people and Japanese people?

    • 18thstreet - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      I’ve had countless arguments about whether the Bronx is in Philadelphia or New York City. And for some reason, people think I’m an idiot for confusing those two cities.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      Thing of how many games the Yankees won, thanks to a lights-out Panamanian! Or Colombian! Who cares? They’re all the same to me!

  11. olaffek - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Ok. Gotta set my DVR.

  12. mazblast - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Nava is “gritty” and “hustling”. He’d be a great fit in Arizona.

  13. Trap12 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Dislike use of term “demoted” under these circumstances where Red Sox have five outfielders on roster when Victorino comes off the DL. So, avoid the hard decision and let him go to AAA to get his stuff back and be available when injury or performance opens up opportunity to return. He is a good kid [how surprising to find out he’s 31] and worked hard to improve his game… he will work hard down there.

    BUT, this is a test of the All for One team chemistry phenomenon of 2013. Sizemore and Bradley aren’t lighting up the scoreboard either. They must figure that Bradley cannot learn more at AAA and keep him to put him up against big league pitching. Also, they are searching for some speed at leadoff and are, for sentimental reasons and some good play, hoping Sizemore can provide the needed on base percentage and stealing skills. At this point, actually, it looks like Victorino would be best idea.

    Re trade… it’s possible, and would also test that chemistry thing between team/management, but if his game returns he would be the outfield MVP this year [except for Victorino] and the Red Sox can give up the notion of speed this year.

    But, if Middlebrooks does not come back from rehab and produce both average and clout, Holt may remain and even get a shot. That’s why I was a little surprised it wasn’t Holt going down even now but he probably departs when Middlebrooks gets back on the roster.

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