Daniel Nava

Daniel Nava makes his return, Deven Marrero sent down

Rob Bradford
July 21, 2015 - 4:49 pm

HOUSTON -- The Red Sox didn't have to make a decision on Daniel Nava's activation until Wednesday, but they still decided to make their move on the outfielder/first baseman in time for the series opener against the Astros. Nava, who had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left thumb sprain May 26, arrived at the visitors clubhouse even before the rest of the Red Sox Tuesday, getting ready for his latest stint with the big club. The 32-year-old, who took the place of infielder Deven Marrero (sent to Triple-A Pawutcket) on the 25-man roster, feels he's made significant progress from the injury that had limited how he swung the bat prior to going on the DL. "I couldn't really hit off a tee very well. I couldn't control the bat with my top hand so I was predominantly swinging with my bottom hand left-handed and when you can'€™t control the bat with your top hand it just loses it," he said. "I was just hoping when I went into the box that I would take a good swing. Just rolling dice. Sometimes I would take a decent swing, sometimes I wouldn't take a decent swing. But then it got me into a habit of not trusting myself because I didnt know what was going to happen. "I'€™m getting there. I'€™m close. We were working a lot with Geddy [Pawtucket hitting coach Rich Gedman] down there on simplifying some stuff because I did things wrong for a long time, it'€™s amazing how much creatures of habit we are to teach ourselves the wrong things kind of quickly which is not very encouraging. But on the flip side you can turn it around and teach yourself the right thing, hopefully quicker." Because his rehab assignment clock was running out. Nava had to be either activated or designated for assignment, not possessing any options. While with the PawSox, the switch-hitter (yes, he has gone back to switch-hitting) went 9-for-36 (.250) with a home run. From July 10-16, Nava recorded three straight multi-hit games, going 7-for-12 (.583) in that span. "I'€™m glad I don'€™t have three more weeks. The hand and body feels good," he said. "It took a long time but we were trying to balance the line of, you come back soon, do I do what I did the last month before I went on the DL and play terrible or do we wait it out. We decided to wait it out because the other option wasn'€™t too good." As for Nava's role, that remains to be seen, with more at-bats potentially coming at first base than in the outfield. Alejandro De Aza is currently filling the role of extra left-handed-hitting outfield. "He'€™ll serve in a reserve role, obviously at the same positions previous," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Nava, who hit .159 with a .440 OPS in 27 games with the Red Sox this season. "We get a left-handed, experienced bat back to us and he'€™s actually been swinging the bat pretty frequently from the right side as well. He comes back to us and he'€™ll work off the bench."