Red Sox notebook: John Farrell explains Daniel Nava’s demotion; Shane Victorino just about ready
|04.23.14 at 7:32 pm ET|
While his demotion to Pawtucket was not unforeseen, Daniel Nava was still disappointed to hear after last night’s 9-2 loss to the Yankees that he would be taking the bus back to Triple-A.
Nava started the season off struggling, hitting .149 with two home runs and three RBI while posting a .240 on-base percentage. Nava’s weak performance combined with the team’s need to carry an extra reliever in the bullpen led to 31-year-old’s trip back down to the minors.
‘Given the number of innings by our last five days, we needed to add another arm, some help out there,’ Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ‘I felt like we needed to get Daniel Nava going again. His struggles at the plate are evident. We’re just trying to get him back to the player of confidence that we’ve seen in the past.’
Farrell believes that Nava needed to find his approach back at the plate after the outfielder struggled to find his typically patient approach at the plate out of the gate this season.
‘There needs to be more of a consistent two strike approach,’ Farrell said. ‘There were times where he tried to hit with a little bit too much power instead of that hitter of average that had occasional home runs. He also needs to hit from the right side of the plate as well.’
Part of the reason the team sent down Nava was a result of the outfielder’s dip in confidence.
‘Players’ confidence ebbs and flows,’ Farrell said. ‘We’ve got to get a guy that was pivotal to our success a year ago right at the plate and it’s going to take some time to get some at-bats to do just that.’
Farrell says that Nava was still disappointed with the demotion to Pawtucket, although the outfielder’s recent performance suggested a potential demotion.
‘I can’t say that it was disbelief but it was a disappointing message to deliver considering his contributions last year in combination with the need for another reliever,’ Farrell said. ‘Maybe deep down, he agreed with it and knew that it was a necessity.’
Wilson ready to step up and contribute
In response to the a thin bullpen that pitched 14.1 innings over the last three games, the Red Sox called up reliever Alex Wilson. Wilson pitched in 26 games in 2013, posting a 4.88 ERA with 22 strikeouts, 1.735 WHIP and a 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Wilson is excited for the opportunity to contribute to the major league squad.
‘I’m throwing the ball pretty well,’ Wilson said. ‘I’m pretty comfortable. I’m in a good spot right now. It’s always great to come back and be the first guy called up this year, it feels good.’
Farrell said the reason that team brought up Wilson stemmed from the abundance of innings the relievers have pitched over the last couple of games.
‘Hopefully we get through tonight in good shape and our bullpen gets back to normal rest,’ Farrell said. ‘We typically don’t like to carry an eight-man bullpen so we’d like to get back to thirteen position players if we can.’
Farrell also added that the team brought Wilson over starting pitcher Allen Webster due to the team’s desire not to mess with Webster’s starting routing in Pawtucket.
‘We felt like that a two inning reliever is what we needed and that’s what Wilson’s done,’ Farrell said. ‘Familiarity of role. That’s why Alex is here.’
While his current stint with the Red Sox is expected to be short, Wilson is just glad to have an opportunity with the team.
‘Just keep working every day,’ Wilson said. ‘In the long haul, I’m still playing baseball as my job so I’m glad to be doing and I’m glad to be here.’
Victorino in Boston during scheduled off day
Outfielder Shane Victorino is inching closer every day to making his regular season debut with the Red Sox after suffering a right hamstring injury at the end of Spring Training. After going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts for Pawtucket last night against the Rochester Red Wings, Victorino was spotted in the clubhouse before the game. Farrell said that today is a scheduled off day for the 33-year-old.
‘Part of the plan was to have today be an off day and we weren’t going to adjust if he wasn’t active here,’ Farrell said. ‘He’ll go through the pre-game work today with us.’
Farrell would not hint whether or not the team will activate Victorino for tomorrow’s game.
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