Daniel Nava continues to work on hitting from the left side of theplate against lefty pitchers. (Rob Bradford/WEEI.com photo)

Daniel Nava still flirting with idea of not switch-hitting

Rob Bradford
February 28, 2015 - 11:28 am
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Thursday, the Red Sox let Daniel Nava hit left-handed against southpaw reliever Dana Eveland. Saturday, he was in a group that went against another lefty, Tommy Layne. It's all part of the process. Where it ends up, Nava has no idea. But he figures this is a good a time as any to at least take a few steps down the path toward hitting exclusively from the left side. "We're just seeing if lefty-lefty can be a viable option," said the switch-hitting outfielder. "There's only one way to find out, give it a shot. "Obviously, it's an adjustment because I've never done lefty-lefty and something you've never done before is going to be an adjustment period but I'd like to think I can do it based on my approach and not trying to pull the ball, remains to be seen." Nava explained in the offseason he had been considering the move for some time, with his splits slanting dramatically in the favor of his work as a lefty hitter. Last year, for example, he hit .293 as a left-handed batter, compared to .159 from the right side. Red Sox manager John Farrell and Nava said after their team's Saturday workout that the organization had started conversations with the outfielder about a possible alteration at the end of the 2014 season. "€œI think it was because last year I struggled from the right side," Nava explained. "The year before it was all right but last year was a tough year so we thought it was worth a shot." He does insist, however, that just because you'll be seeing him hit left-handed against lefty pitching in spring training (a practice he hasn't experienced since Little League), that doesn't mean Nava has dug in on not switch-hitting. He still has to figure out if this is exactly the best road to go down. "Just arm angle, way ball comes out, and the way ball moves," he said regarding the differences he's noticing when hitting lefty-on-lefty. "Those are things once I get out there -- I've talked to a lot of guys. I've talked to [former major league switch-hitter who changed to just one side of the plate] J.T. Snow as well, as you know he did it. He gave me what he did, as somebody who has walked that road. I'll try to see what they did and hope that it works."

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