When a team loses one of the best bats in the majors, there are no easy replacements to be made. For the Red Sox, however, the situation might be easier than for most.
That's because, as crazy as it sounds, the return of Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury to the roster has forced the Sox to bench a pretty productive bat in the form of Daniel Nava--at least when he's up against right-handed pitchers.
In just over 150 trips to the plate this year, Daniel Nava is hitting .305/.421/.489 against right-handed pitchers, good for a .395 wOBA that ranks amongst the best on the team (behind even smaller sample sizes in Scott Podsednik, Kelly Shoppach, and Pedro Ciriaco) if well shy of Ortiz' ridiculous .431 mark. The results are enough to earn him the same third spot Ortiz vacated. It's a big position to put a guy like Nava in, but with the likes of Shoppach and Ross protecting him from lefty relievers on the bench, not as ridiculous of one as it might initially seem.
The other outfielder pushed out by the big returning names, Ryan Sweeney, will also get his opportunity in right field, batting seventh in place of Cody Ross, who has struggled of late at the plate.
|BOSTON RED SOX||CHICAGO WHITE SOX|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||Alejandro De Aza, CF|
|Carl Crawford, LF||Kevin Youkilis, 3B|
|Daniel Nava, DH||Adam Dunn, DH|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||Paul Konerko, 1B|
|Will Middlebrooks, 3B||Alex Rios, RF|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C||A.J. Pierzynski, C|
|Ryan Sweeney, RF||Dayan Viciedo LF|
|Mike Aviles, SS||Alexei Ramirez, SS|
|Pedro Ciriaco, 2B||Gordon Beckham, 2B|