AP NEWS

Sox Looking for Place to Play Rookie

May 9, 2019

By Michael Silverman

Boston Herald

BALTIMORE -- Eduardo Nunez is back already, Dustin Pedroia could be back by next week and Brock Holt could return a couple of weeks from now, too.

That’s a lot of infielders returning to the Red Sox roster, which presents a dilemma.

What will happen to rookie Michael Chavis, the so far slick-fielding second baseman who happens to be the club’s hottest hitter, reaching base in 15 of his 17 games with six home runs,13 RBI and a .293 batting average?

The Sox are loathe to send him back to Triple-A Pawtucket but they will not have much, if any, room to play with. Pedroia will have to play, nearly every day, too. Nunez is already being squeezed for playing time. Chavis has played first base once, but the Red Sox have Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce platooning there. And Rafael Devers is their everyday third baseman.

So, no wonder Alex Cora has asked Chavis to spend part of batting practice recently standing with outfield coach Tom Goodwin.

Because you never know.

“There’s a lot of people coming back healthy -- obviously we have to look for options,” Cora said. “It’s nothing that he’s working at, but it will be good just for him to stand there and see the flight of the ball. He’s never done it before.”

Before Chavis starts shagging -- if he starts shagging -- tracking the ball is where the process begins.

“Especially when you play half the games at home -- that’s tough,” Cora said. “At second he’s done a good job. He can play first, he can play third, obviously we’ve got the DH spot. He’s been swinging the bat well. That’s something we can’t ignore. He’s been putting up good at-bats. The more options the better. I’m not going to say he’s going to start working there but at least see the flight of the ball is a start.”

PEDROIA IN PORTLAND

Pedroia, on rehab with Double-A Portland, did not play on Tuesday because of wet conditions, but Wednesday he began a stretch of playing three games in a row. ....

Holt rejoined the team to work out on Wednesday and attend the White House ceremony on Thursday. He’ll work out with the team again on Friday at Fenway Park. Assuming his impinged shoulder continues to respond well, Holt will likely be sent out on a rehab assignment as soon as next week.

“He’s doing OK,” said Cora.

“It seems like he’s progressing. Obviously still in the throwing program. We’ll see how it goes. But better than a few days ago.”

JOHNSON PROGRESSES

The day after throwing in the bullpen, Brian Johnson (shoulder) reported no soreness other than at himself for not locating his pitches better.

“That’s good when you start thinking about stuff like that,” Cora said. “Friday, he’ll play catch and then we’ll make a decision what we’re going to do, if we want another simulated game or if we’re sending him on a rehab assignment.”...

Nathan Eovaldi had the stitches taken out of his elbow following surgery. He rejoined the team for the White House visit...

David Price (elbow tendinitis) played catch on Wednesday. He will be re-evaluated on Friday. All indications are that his setback is a minor one, and he will not need a rehab assignment when he returns.

“With David, I don’t see that, it’s quick enough, I don’t see that,” Cora said. “David is a guy, he knows his body. Nothing is going to change as long as he feels good mechanic-wise and command-wise. If we have to make that decision, we’ll make it.”...

Cora will not be monitoring his team’s visit to the White House.

“I’ve got twins, brother,” said Cora. “We’ll do something. It’s got to be somewhere, I know that. It’s family time.”...

For the Seattle series, Eduardo Rodriguez will start the first game Friday at Fenway, with Rick Porcello on Saturday. Sunday is still TBA, although Hector Velazquez, Josh Smith and Ryan Weber are candidates.