Sunday, February 17, 2013
Boston's first base options
By Jason A. Churchill
The Boston Red Sox are likely to start the season with Mike Napoli as the regular first baseman, but as Scott Lauber writes, Daniel Nava is learning first base and could serve as a left-handed option at the position.
If the club likes the direction Nava, who has played only in the outfield so far in his major league career, is headed, he'll not only get more playing time but might halt any further consideration for Boston to bring in outside help such as Mike Carp, who was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners earlier this week.
The switch-hitting Nava, Lauber points out, was solid as a lefty in 2012, posting a near-.800 OPS. The soon-to-be 30-year-old has always been stronger from the left side of the plate, even as a minor leaguer, and could man first base versus right-handed pitching while Napoli sits or serves as the DH. Even though Napoli got good news on his health, the Red Sox need to be prepared going forward, in case something changes in Napoli's in his hip condition, called avasular necrosis, which restricts blood flow into the bones.