BOSTON -- The dilemma as to what to do with the surplus of outfielders was gong to come up eventually for the Red Sox. While the decision was expected to be made prior to Shane Victorino's activation from the disabled list, the team was forced to instead call up reliever Alex Wilson Wednesday night in order to put another arm in a bullpen worn down after throwing 14.1 innings in the last three games.
As a result, the team sent down Daniel Nava, who played a key role in the 2013 Red Sox' World Series run.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Wednesday night's matchup against the Yankees that the decision was a necessary one.
"As you might expect, he was disappointed, but I can't say that it was disbelief," Farrell said. "It was a disappointing message to deliver considering his contributions last year in combination with the need for another reliever. Maybe deep down, he agreed with it and knew that it was a necessity."
Nava struggled mightily out of the gate this season, hitting .149 with two home runs, three RBI and a .240 on-base percentage after hitting .303 with 12 homers, 66 RBI and a .385 on-base percentage in 134 games last year. Farrell mentioned that Nava needed to work on his approach--previously a strength--during his time in the minors.
"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."
Farrell believes that sending Nava down to Pawtucket will help improve the outfielder's 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."