BOSTON -- Daniel Nava found himself the victim of a numbers game -- those on the Red Sox roster and, frankly, his own.
Nava, who was hitting just .145 with two homers and three RBI in 17 games, was optioned to Pawtucket Wednesday in anticipation of outfielder Shane Victorino's return to the active roster.
(For the time being, with the Sox short on pitching after getting into their bullpen early the last three nights, reliever Alex Wilson was promoted to the major-league team. He's expected to be here only for Wednesday's game).
"We felt like we needed to get Daniel going again,'' explained John Farrell. "His struggles at the plate are evident. We're trying to get him back to being the player of confidence that we've seen in the past. We've got to get a guy back who was pivotal to our success a year ago, particularly from the left side of the plate, and it's going to take some time to get some at-bats to do just that.''
Farrell said Nava needs to exhibit a "more consistent two-strike approach. I feel like there are times that he tried to hit with a little bit too much power rather than (being) a hitter of average who will hit occasional home runs. And then he needs to get some work on the right side of the plate as well.''
The switch-hitting Nava had just 21 at-bats from the right side and hit only .095 right-handed.
Farrell said Nava reacted to the demotion "as you might expect -- he was disappointed. I can't say it was disbelief, but it was a disappointing message to deliver, given his role last year and the contributions (he made). But while not liking it, or deep down agreeing with it, he knew it was a necessity.''
Nava is expected to play both left and right field while in Pawtucket. He will join them Thursday, after exercising his right to take a day before reporting.