Red Sox

Michael Chavis, top Red Sox hitting prospect, called up to big leagues

Michael Chavis, top Red Sox hitting prospect, called up to big leagues

 

Help is on the way for the struggling Red Sox offense, and it's in the form of their best hitting prospect.

Infielder Michael Chavis, who has had quite the tumultuous career since being selected in the first round of the 2014 draft, was summoned from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, along with infielder Tzu-Wei Lin and will join the team in Tampa for a three-game series with the Rays.

They'll be taking the places of infielder Eduardo Nunez, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a sore back, and right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who was designated for assignment after one bad relief outing.

The big name is Chavis, a 23-year-old right-handed slugger who's hitting .250 with four homers and a .954 OPS at Triple-A Pawtucket. Drafted as a shortstop/third baseman, Chavis has played five games at second base this year, his pro debut at the position, and could be a possibility there with Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt, and now Nunez each on the IL.

In a radio interview on Thursday with WEEI, Red Sox manager Alex Cora suggested that Chavis wasn't ready for second base in the big leagues.

"There are a few plays he needs to get better at," Cora told Ordway, Merloni, and Fauria. "We're comfortable with him making the routine plays. But there are other plays that come into play. He's a work in progress. He's getting close to what we want. You never know. Injuries come into play."

Chavis's debut comes after a whirlwind minor league career that saw him drafted 26th overall in 2014 before hitting just .223 in his full-season debut a year later. He looked like a potential bust in 2016, batting .237 between two levels of Single-A, before exploding in 2017 with 31 homers between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland.

He thwarted that positive momentum at the start of 2018, however, by testing positive for a banned substance and earning an 80-game suspension. He returned last year to mash nine homers in 46 games with a .919 OPS, earning the No. 2 spot on Baseball America's list of top 10 Red Sox prospects.

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Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt rehabbing in Portland this weekend

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Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt rehabbing in Portland this weekend

Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt will be in Portland this weekend as part of their injury rehab assignments.

The duo will be on the Sea Dogs roster for their four-game series vs. Altoona. Joining them at Hadlock Field will be Red Sox reliever Brian Johnson, who is scheduled for a rehab start on Sunday.

Holt originally was placed on the injured list since on April 6 with a scratched cornea and suffered a setback later in the month with a right shoulder impingement. Pedroia went back on the IL in April with soreness in his surgically-repaired left knee.

While the Red Sox could use the infield depth, they're in no rush to get Pedroia or Holt back in the lineup with rookie Michael Chavis raking. The 23-year-old has 10 home runs through the first 29 games of his career.

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Red Sox vs. Astros lineups: J.D. Martinez returns, Michael Chavis leads off

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Red Sox vs. Astros lineups: J.D. Martinez returns, Michael Chavis leads off

After taking three out of four games vs. the Blue Jays, the Red Sox look to carry their success into Houston.

They'll begin a three-game series vs. the Astros on Friday night with the red-hot Chris Sale toeing the rubber opposite ex-Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley. Sandy Leon will call the game for Sale behind the plate.

J.D. Martinez finally returns to the lineup after missing the last four games due to an illness and back tightness. Rookie Michael Chavis again leads off with Andrew Benintendi batting sixth. Rafael Devers gets his first day off of the season.

Here are the full lineups for both teams with first pitch set for 8:10 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

BOSTON RED SOX (27-23)
Michael Chavis 2B
Mookie Betts RF
Xander Bogaerts SS
J.D. Martinez DH
Steve Pearce 1B
Andrew Benintendi LF
Eduardo Núñez 3B
Sandy León C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Chris Sale, LHP (1-5, 4.31 ERA)

HOUSTON ASTROS (33-18)
George Springer RF
Alex Bregman 3B
Carlos Correa SS
Yuli Gurriel 1B
Aledmys Diaz 2B
Robinson Chirinos C
Josh Reddick LF
Tyler White DH
Jake Marisnick CF

Wade Miley, LHP (4-2, 3.51 ERA)

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