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Injuries Mounting, Boof Bonser to the Rotation? Nava Who?

Boston Red Sox Daniel Nava (R) is congratulated by teammates Jason Varitek, Adrian Beltre (29) and Darnell McDonald (54) in front of Philadelphia Phillies catcher Brian Schneider after hitting a grand slam during the second inning of their Interleague MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts June 12, 2010.  REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Who is Daniel Nava?

The Sox have quite the interesting player on their hands.

With injuries to outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeremy Hermida, and Mike Cameron forcing the BoSox to dig deep into the minors once again, the Sox may have caught lightning in a bottle for the second time this season.

Darnell McDonald admirably filling in for Hermida and Cameron, the Sox promoted Daniel Nava to the bigs on Saturday to take over Josh Reddick’s fourth outfielder spot.

Like McDonald, Nava wasted no time endearing himself to fans — connecting for a grand slam on the first pitch of his MLB career Saturday, leading the Sox to a 10-2 win over Philadelphia.

Nava, 27, has had quite the journey to the Majors. Making his professional debut for the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League in 2007, Nava impressed the scouts with a bit of speed (18 SBs in 20 attempts), pop (12 home runs in 314 plate appearances), and plate discipline (48 BB : 42 Ks) while with Chico. Signed by the Sox in 2008 at the age of 25, Nava kept rolling with hi-A Lancaster. Slugging 10 homers in 379 plate appearances to go along with a very impressive .341/.424/.523 line, the outfielder’s plate discipline (43 BB : 70 K) carried over to affliated ball as well.

Fixing J.D. Drew, Darnell Who?, Hermida Behind the Plate?

Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Game 2

What Needs to Happen: JD Drew

The bad starts just keep piling up… and keep continuing, causing some real problems in the lineup and some real frustration for the millions of Fenway Faithful.

J.D. Drew’s poor April just keeps on coming, which has only added to the ineptitude and futility of the 2010 Boston lineup.

Still, while fans may have already begun clamoring for an overhaul, Drew’s April has all the earmarkings of a really bad, persistent slump – one that can ridden out with a patient couple weeks.

When players go through stretches like Drew has, at his age no less, the primary questions that tend to be asked are 1) is the player hurt? 2) is he seeing the ball well enough or just putting poor swings on the ball? and 3) is he getting old?

Sox Take R&R in KC, Buchholz Picks Up Where He Left Off

MLB: Red Sox vs Royals APR 11

R&R in KC

After winning the home opener, the Sox looked quite sluggish in their encore performances against the Yanks. What they needed was a little R&R against a weak out-of-division opponent — and the KC Royals came to the rescue.

Though the pitching staff managed to make the series interesting — including dropping the first content by virtue of Okajima’s and Bard’s eighth inning bullpen lapses — there were many positives to take away from the road trip to Missouri…

AL East Sleepers: Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz throws a pitch at Yankee Stadium in New York

As the hometown team boasts one of the strongest starting nine in the American League, it can be difficult to detect sleepers among the pack. Don’t be fooled, however. They are there and prepped to support an elite cast looking to avenge last season’s early playoff exit.

Though few of the positional starters offer much potential as true “sleepers”, considering the number of All-Stars and MVP candidates among them, the pitching staff contributes much of the excitement on this front. With youngsters and rebound contenders among the lot, an already superb rotation and bullpen could receive a few significant boosts from numerous sources.

SP Clay Buchholz

After the light came on last season, it never seemed to go out. Finally hitting his stride at the Major League level, he was able to lay fears about his potential to rest. Though not a groundbreaking season by any means, Buchholz’ performance went a long way toward stabilizing the ailing rotation during August and September.

Looking forward to 2010, Buchholz should comfortably take the place of the 5th starter – possibly 4th, depending upon the performance of Daisuke Matsuzaka – expectations he should have no problem fulfilling…

New Poll Question: Left Field Left-overs

If Boston waves Bay good-bye and Matt Holliday is out of reach, which of these established left-fielders would you like to see play the line at Fenway in 2010?

* Garret Anderson

* Marlon Byrd

* Fernando Tatis

* Randy Winn

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