Nava providing Red Sox with major-league value

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Nava providing Red Sox with major-league value

It's difficult to think of a better story than Daniel Nava.

A season after he made his major league debut -- and famously, hit a grand slam on the first pitch thrown to him -- Nava was off the Red Sox radar in Pawtucket, relegated to non-prospect status.

Earlier this year, when the Red Sox needed a roster spot, Nava found himself designated for assignment -- and unclaimed by the other 29 teams.

But the epidemic of injuries to the organization's outfielders has created an opportunity for Nava, and he's seized it in a big way, becoming the Red Sox' de facto starting left fielder.

In 14 games since being promoted from Pawtucket, Nava is hitting .350.491600 with two homers and 11 RBI.

Nava's done everything the Red Sox could have asked. He's getting on base regularly, driving the ball -- six of his 14 hits have been for extra bases -- and showing improvement in the outfield.

In the last few weeks, he's gone from forgotten journeyman minor leaguer to valuable role player.

The eventual return of Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury may force Nava back to the minors, but that's at least a month away. In the meantime, Nava is showcasing his skills to other teams, and not incidentally, proving invaluable for a team desperately in need of reinforcements.

Red Sox place Pomeranz on DL, but he may not miss a start

Red Sox place Pomeranz on DL, but he may not miss a start

Roster flexibility, something of substance, or a combination of both?

The Red Sox on Thursday placed Drew Pomeranz on the brand new 10-day disabled list because of a left forearm flexor strain.

"It's become more and more clear he's not ready to begin the season," John Farrell told reporters, including The Providence Journal's Tim Britton, on Thursday morning.

The Sox don’t need a fifth starter, Pomeranz’s potential spot, until April 9. He can be activated before then. So, in effect, the trip to the DL frees up an extra roster spot.

Farrell said the team hopes Pomeranz will be able to make his scheduled start but "is certainly not guaranteeing it."

The situation could prove an interesting look at how MLB handles its new 10-day disabled list. If Pomeranz continues on his previously planned schedule, the Red Sox could be seen as simply be using the 10-day DL to their advantage. But Farrell spoke earlier this spring about how he expected MLB to highly scrutinize trips to the DL.

Pomeranz’s forearm is known not to be in the best of shape, considering he went for a stem-cell injection this offseason.

Porcello 'feels as good as I've felt all spring' in Red Sox' 5-3 loss

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Porcello 'feels as good as I've felt all spring' in Red Sox' 5-3 loss

Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz combined to allow all five of the Red Sox' runs in Boston's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Porcello finished his start by fanning four, allowing four hits and earning two runs over four innings. Pomeranz followed in the next four innings with four strikeouts, five hits allowed and three earned runs. Pomeranz allowed ByungHo Park's eighth-inning, two-run homer, which ended up being the game-winner.

Porcello, however, was optimistic after the loss.

"The buildup was good," Porcello told reporters, via RedSox.com. "Today I felt as good as I've felt all spring. At this point, I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."

While the Sox offense was able to get three runs off Ervin Santana in his 4 2/3 innings, they struggled against the Twins' next five pitchers. Xander Bogaerts (2 of 3) and Pablo Sandoval (1 of 3) managed homers. Hanley (3 of 3) Ramirez had a double, and Dustin Pedroia (2 of 3) had two singles.

Kyle Kendrick will start Thursday in the Sox' final Spring Training series against the Washington Nationals. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.