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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