In five at-bats on Sunday, Daniel Nava had two hits for the PawSox, including his first minor-league homer of the spring. In three games for Pawtucket, Nava is 3-for-11 with two walks and four strikeouts.
Though a show of power is always welcome, the Red Sox hoped Nava would be able to hone in on his two-strike approach after his demotion. It's early in his minor-league stay, but a 30 percent strikeout rate suggests he still has plenty of work to do.
"Needs to be more of a consistent two-strike approach," Sox manager John Farrell said last week after the news of Nava's option was made public. "Felt like there were times he tried to hit with a little too much power rather than that hitter of average that will hit occasional home runs. Needs to get some work on the right side of the plate as well."
Sending Nava down to Pawtucket was the logical decision for the Red Sox last week as they anticipated the return of Shane Victorino.
Nava was given a chance taking the reins as Boston's leadoff hitter, but he hit just .149 after 75 plate appearances this season -- a far cry from the .303 average and .385 on-base percentage he put together in 2013.
With Jackie Bradley Jr. securing the team's outfield defense, Nava was the choice that made the most sense.
Not that it was an easy move for Farrell and the Red Sox to make. Nava was a key component to the World Series championship team last season. There's a good chance he thought that his days in the minors were through.
"Those aren't messages that you like to deliver," Farrell said last week. "What our team needs takes precedent over anything that we do. You try to explain it in a way that we see, give some tangible reasons to warrant our decision, and yet give a plan of action going forward that he can attach to. If he accomplishes those, then he's at least putting it in his mind the ability to get back here."