Red Sox

Michael Chavis compared to former NL East second baseman

Michael Chavis compared to former NL East second baseman

Michael Chavis' hot start for the Boston Red Sox has gotten attention. He has performed better than expected and surprisingly has been able to handle the defensive duties at second base for the Sox. His accelerated development has excited many, and it seemingly bodes well for his future.

And now that he has been in the big leagues long enough, Chavis is drawing comparisons to other pro players. Recently, he was compared to a long-time NL East second baseman.

“He reminds me of Dan Uggla,” said one scout per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe. “It’s not perfect defensively but it’s effective enough, and he hits. He’s a good athlete.”

That's an inspiring comparison for Chavis, as Uggla was once one of the better offensive second basemen in the MLB.

Uggla played 10 years in the majors and early on in his career, he was one of the few power-hitting second basemen in the league. He had at least 27 homers in each of his first six seasons, and he finished his career with 235 dingers. His career average was just .241, but was a better contact hitter in his first five seasons, recording a .263 average. He also had a 33-game hit streak in 2011, so he consistently hit the ball.

If Chavis can provide the Red Sox with the power punch that Uggla had and solid enough defense, that would be huge for their future. Given that he has already cracked seven homers in just 89 at-bats, he seems well on his way to doing that. And right now, he's holding up well at second base, so perhaps he can lock down that position moving forward.

It's also possible that Chavis could have a better and longer career than Uggla. The former Marlin, Brave, and National didn't break into the league until he was 26. Chavis is only 23.

In the piece by the Globe, Abraham also identified Daniel Murphy (.298, 124 homers in 11 seasons) as a player comparable to Chavis. If he continues to hit as well as he has, these comps will certainly be warranted.

TOMASE: Time for Chavis to make the adjustment>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

David Ortiz's wife provides great update on Red Sox legend's health

David Ortiz's wife provides great update on Red Sox legend's health

On a day when law enforcement identified the man who orchestrated the assassination attempt on Red Sox legend David Ortiz, good news has surfaced from the Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

According to a statement by the Red Sox on behalf of Tiffany Ortiz, David's wife, Ortiz's doctors have upgraded Big Papi's condition to 'good' and he "continues to make progress with his recovery." 

“We remain grateful to everyone who has helped David through this ordeal, both in the Dominican Republic and here in Boston," the statement read. "David’s journey to good health has been bolstered by the many expressions of love that have come to us from across the globe. Your support has lifted his spirits tremendously during this challenging time.”

Additionally, according to ESPN's Marly Rivera, Ortiz has been able to eat soft foods and keep in touch with loved ones — including former teammates — over the phone. Ortiz has been admitted into Mass General Hospital since June 10, and had previously been in serious but stable condition. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

How Colten Brewer delivered three key outs in tense Red Sox victory over Twins

colten_brewer_red_sox.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Photo

How Colten Brewer delivered three key outs in tense Red Sox victory over Twins

Rick Porcello had given the Red Sox all they could expect in Minnesota on Monday, protecting a 1-0 lead for seven innings. When manager Alex Cora signaled the bullpen to start the eighth, he didn't tab Brandon Workman or Matt Barnes, however.

He went to . . . Colten Brewer?

With his four top relievers unavailable for various reasons — Heath Hembree on the IL, Brandon Workman and Marcus Walden from recent use, Matt Barnes needing a break — Cora sent the curve-balling right-hander to the mound with simple instructions.

"Be ready, be nasty, and be yourself," Brewer relayed to reporters in Minnesota after protecting that 1-0 lead in what ended up being a 2-0 win that gave the suddenly streaking Red Sox six straight victories and a chance to win a series against a playoff team for the first time since sweeping the Rays in April.

This one was about the pitching staff, from Porcello's seven shutout innings to Brewer and Ryan Brasier slamming the door. For all the slings and arrows they've absorbed this season, Red Sox relievers have actually pitched fairly well. That doesn't mean they don't need help — they're being overused, after all — but they might be better than people think.

"People think it's short," manager Alex Cora said to reporters in reference to his bullpen. "I think it's just limited because those guys have good stuff. Matchup-wise, Brew makes sense with a lot of those guys. And obviously Brasier was fresh so we went with him. Sometimes I made the mistake of saying short. It's not short, it's just limited."

The eighth wasn't easy, but the Twins helped Brewer's cause after a leadoff single by Jonathan Schoop and a walk to Max Kepler. First, the AL's leading hitter, Jorge Polanco, sacrifice bunted the runners along, giving Brewer a key out in the process. With Rafael Devers covering third, Brewer aggressively pounced off the mound before throwing a strike to first to nip Polanco by a half step.

He then induced a swinging bunt to power-hitting Nelson Cruz, deftly underhanding the ball to catcher Sandy Leon to trap Schoop in a rundown that took the Twins right out of the inning. When Eddie Rosario grounded to first, Brewer had officially escaped one of the biggest moments of his career.

"That's what we live for as baseball players, getting in the situations and getting out of them," Brewer said. "It's definitely a special moment to share with your teammates."

That still left the ninth inning, which brought yet another surprise: Brasier, who left the team last week while on the bereavement list. Making his first appearance in a week, Brasier delivered a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out the dangerous Miguel Sano to end it. It was just his second clean inning this month.

"That's what I expect," Brasier said. "The bullpen has been taxed a little bit the last three or four games and I was ready to go."

Add it together, and two unlikely contributors helped the Red Sox secure one of their most important victories of the season.

"We're rolling right now and to keep it rolling against a team like that and to scratch some runs together and keep them off the board is huge," Brasier said.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.