With Shane Victorino hurt, Daniel Nava steps up

Sam Galanis
Contributing Writer

Probably every Red Sox fan remembers Daniel Nava’s stunning entrance onto the team in 2010. I mean, it’s not everyday that someone hits a grand slam off of the first pitch in their first at bat in the majors.

But after that, his performance was a bit lackluster. Offensively, he was fairly average, and let’s just say defensively he was not the first choice to put on the field. It was enough to send him to Triple A the next year. That seemed to have done him some good last season, but this season, he’s stepped up his game entirely.

For starters, he seems to have his defensive game under control. As the Boston Herald said, the Sox signed Shane Victorino because they were looking for “a right fielder who possessed both the range and arm of a classic center fielder,” someone who could handle Fenway Park’s enormous right field. With Victorino out, Nava has taken the opportunity to make some amazing plays. He made two great catches in Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Houston Astros.

So how’s he adjusting from the switch from left field to right field?

“It’s been different,” Nava said in an interview with NESN. “You go from probably one of the shortest distances and areas you have to cover in left to one of the largest you have to cover in right, and that difference in distance alone makes it a little more challenging. I like it. But it’s just taken a while to adjust.”

And not only does he seem to be taking to his new position, but his batting average is reaching new heights. Nava is currently batting .310 and it poised to get better numbers than last year. He already has four home runs and 16 RBIs compared to his six and 33 respectively for all of last season.

Nava has definitely proved to be an asset to the Sox this season, and with Mike Carp’s hot bat, as well as Jonny Gomes to back him up, the Sox should be all set in the outfield.

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