When Shane Victorino returns from the disabled list this week, the Boston Red Sox have a very interesting decision to make. They will have to remove someone from the roster. There are a few choices, but the one that might make the most sense is Daniel Nava.
Jackie Bradley has basically played himself onto this team, and he has shown that he is Boston’s best outfielder. One feels the same sort of comfort level when he is out there as when Victorino was out in right field last year. It wouldn’t make any sense for Boston to send him down when they are struggling to get some sort of continuity out there.
Mike Carp is also another possibility, but he doesn’t have any options and his left-handed power off the bench can be a very valuable asset as he showed on more than one occasion last year.
That leaves Nava in what is a tough decision, considering how much he meant to Boston last year. His on-base skills are very, very good and he came up with some big hits throughout 2013. He also has worked very hard to make himself into a solid defender. One thing that Nava has going against him, though, is that he has a minor league option and can be sent down. He has struggled this year, and this is the best way to keep all their players within the organization. It is unfortunate for Nava because he plays three positions — none of them outstanding but all of them capably. Carp is not as good of a defender, but it comes down to that minor league option that Nava has.
Nava seems to be mostly stuck in the numbers game, and if he was hitting at all, this would be an even tougher decision. However, the Red Sox will be a lot better with Grady Sizemore in left, Bradley in center and Victorino in right. That could be a very fun outfield to watch.