Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I’m absolutely amazed,” said manager Bobby Valentine. “Absolutely amazed.”
At the start of camp, Nava probably didn’t even rank among the team’s top dozen outfielders. But he homered in Washington in the last exhibition game, catching Valentine’s eye, and then found his way back to Boston when injuries to a half-dozen outfielders left the Sox with nowhere to turn.
All he has done since is hit .314 with two homers, 16 RBI and a .987 OPS.
Herald - Nava: Sox’ surprise spark
The Daniel Nava experience is a wondrous, surprisingly enjoyable ride. Not a single person on Earth thought he was going to perform at the level he has. And while we keep waiting for some sort of drop-off, the opposite happens and he throws up 4 hits on the Blue Jays.
This is sort of a repeat of the show Josh Reddick put on last season, where he was batting above .400 for a pretty solid stretch. He did trail off a bit as the year progressed, but ended up with a more-than-respectable .280 average by season's end (with 7 home runs and 28 RBIs). Reddick displayed enough potential that the Sox were able to flip him to Oakland for Sweeney and Bailey. No one is disappointed in Sweeney's play (and well, Bailey's yet to show up), but Reddick is morphing into a dynamite player. Through 50 games he's already doubled his home run output from last season (more than any current Sox) and has 27 RBIs.
It would be nice if, like Reddick, Nava's going to stay consistent enough that he's in the majors for good. Once Crawford and Ellsbury return, I'd much rather see Nava platooning in right with Sweeney or Ross than McDonald.
And, not to shift gears too dramatically, but hopefully the rise of Reddick and Nava are making it clear to the Red Sox front office that we don't need to drop $140 million on a Carl Crawford just because he's available. We had two more than capable corner outfielders just waiting for their chance, who delivered once they got it. Trust in your farm. Or, fire the people that are telling you these guys can't be every day outfielders at the Major League level.
On Page 2, speaking of young outfielders...
More than a year removed from the neck and shoulder injuries that short-circuited his 2011 season, Ryan Kalish began his long road back to the big leagues when he was assigned to Single A Salem last Saturday.
Kalish, 24, started at designated hitter, going 2 for 4 with a solo homer in a 5-3 loss at Frederick, Md., a game that featured the Single A debut of Dylan Bundy, the Orioles’ 19-year-old phenom pitching prospect.
The last time Kalish homered was at Seattle Sept. 13, 2010, during a 53-game stint with the Red Sox.
“It kind of gives you the feeling that you still got it,’’ Kalish said. “You can still play this game. I mean, it’s been so long, and it’s kind of scary to be out that long and see if you still have it.
“Obviously, you’re never going to be the same guy you were, but it gave me the confidence that, hey, you’ve done all this hard work and it’s starting to pay off.’’
Globe - Kalish back in contact
It's sad to see such a promising young player have their career derailed by a freak injury. Kalish definitely has a long way to go before he'll be back at the level he was, but a home run in your first game back is a good first step.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Plenty of pop when David Ortiz visits Toronto | Clay Buchholz goes 8 to top Jays | Globe -Nava remains in the swing as Sox beat Blue Jays | Red Sox have pieces to play with | ESPN - SoxProspects: Best and worst of May | Buchholz finally puts it all together | Shaughnessy: Not sure Sox will trade Youk