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Jerry Remy on D&C: Daniel Nava can’t take Carl Crawford’s job

05.30.12 at 10:55 am ET

Appearing on Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning, NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy discussed the various position battles going on in Boston, including the inevitable fight between Carl Crawford and Daniel Nava for left field. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Nava has filled in for Crawford in left by batting .276 with 15 RBIs in 19 games, while last season Crawford batted .255 for 56 RBIs. Remy said the starting job belongs to Crawford and he will get it once he returns from the disabled list.

“If Carl Crawford were healthy, Carl Crawford would be playing. To be honest with you, I was very anxious to see Crawford play this year. I expected to see the same guy we saw in Tampa Bay. I think last year was a total adjustment for him that brought him in a little bit uncomfortable. It’s the first time he’s been in a big market like Boston, it’s the first time he’s not a big star on a team, and a lot of things had an effect on him last year. [He had] time off in the offseason where he had a chance to think about it, and you know he was getting himself prepared for this year. We’re going to see the Carl Crawford that we had seen in Tampa Bay.

“If he was ready to play today, Crawford would be in there. It’s just that simple. I mean, he’s their left fielder, he’s the guy they paid big money to get and he would get every opportunity to get that job and it would be his job and Nava would be back to being a part-time player.”

In preparation for Crawford’s eventual return, the team is fixing Crawford with a new throwing motion that will help his elbow. Remy said this isn’t something to be alarmed by, as the Red Sox are testing his arm and reconditioning it.

“For example, if he was a pitcher and he was out for a long time, what do they do? They work on the mechanic,” Remy said. “That’s basically what it is.”

The left field position isn’t the only one the Red Sox have to think about, as the infield could shift as well. Remy addressed the possibility of Jose Iglesias coming up from the minors to play shortstop and Mike Aviles going to second base and the impact that would have on Boston’s defense.

“You’re taking one guy out of a position that he’s played very well in, put him in second base where he’s played before, an Iglesias maybe goes to shortstop. If this happens, then you may not lose much defensively. But you can’t replace [Dustin] Pedroia defensively at second base, nobody can.”

The number of injuries Boston has had this year allowed players like Nava and fellow outfielder Ryan Sweeney, as well as possibly Iglesias, to prove to coach Bobby Valentine their worth.

“They have to come up, they get an opportunity and they have to prove themselves,” Remy said. “And a good example is Nava, as we’ve talked about. Valentine heard nothing about him. So, it’s not like he’s calling to the minor leagues for a guy that he knows has a reputation and he said, ‘I love this guy from spring training and I want him up here,’ because he didn’t. And so Nava’s come up and proved to Valentine that he’s capable of playing at a high level, at the major league level.”

Read More: Bobby Valentine, carl crawford, daniel nava, Dustin Pedroia
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