6-14-2010: Nava!, roster shuffling, draft signings, the Ellsbury fiasco


Daniel Nava stands a stocky 5-10, 200 lbs. He is 27 years old, and has never played above Double-A ball until this season. After not making his college team initially, he was an undrafted player out of Santa Clara, and went to play independent league ball. The Sox signed Nava in 2007 for $1. Seriously. He’s not supposed to be in the big leagues. Yet here he is, slugging a grand slam in his first Major League game; no, check that, first at-bat; no, check that- on the first pitch he ever saw in the Majors off of Phillies starter Joe Blanton, a legitimate big league starter. Nava is actually a very well-rounded player; it’s just that none of his tools predict any level of success at the highest level. His journey is a great story, and I hope that he does stick somewhere, if not with us. Sabermatricians have said that Nava’s excellent minor league numbers bode well for him at this level.

With Josh Reddick already sent back to Pawtucket, Nava was called up to replace the injured Jeremy Hermida, who went on the DL with a severe case of Adrian Beltre. Reliever Joe Nelson was designated as well, making room for Jonathan Papelbon to return to active duty. Unfortunately, Nelson proved ineffective in his stint here, and his future with the team is uncertain. Also called up was left-handed reliever Dustin Richardson, as Daisuke Matsuzaka was suddenly placed on the 15-day DL for forearm problems. He immediately came out and said that it wasn’t a big problem at all, which is a good thing, but I think he should keep his mouth shut more on issues like this.

Just want to give Scott Atchison some recognition for his emergency spot start this weekend. He’s a great guy, and I really like his attitude. The whole bullpen really worked hard in that one; good thing the Phillies are struggling to score runs right now.

Boston is making good progress on signing their picks. First-rounder Kolbrin Vitek and supplemental first-round pick Bryce Brentz have agreed to terms with Boston and will report to the Lowell Spinners after their physicals. The Sox’ third selection, Anthony Ranaudo, has chosen to play in the Cape Cod Summer League before starting contract negotiations with Boston. His agent, Scott Boras, is pretty savvy. Here are Baseball America’s scouting reports on our top three selections.

In case you missed it, Jacoby Ellsbury was diagnosed with a fifth cracked rib. Dr. Thomas Gill has defended his medical staff in their treatment of Ellsbury, and explained that the location of the newest fracture suggests it didn’t happen in the infamous Beltre collision. Things are a little uncomfortable between Ells and the Sox right now, but it should subside once he gets healthy and back on the field. He will continue to rehab in Arizona for the time being. If things go well from here, he could return by July, just before the All-Star Break.

Congratulations to our Carolina League All-Stars: Brock Huntzinger, Alex Wilson, Ryan Lavarnway, Oscar Tejeda and Will Middlebrooks.

You just have to see this picture of Dustin Pedroia. Made my day.

Josh Beckett threw 30 pitches the other day, and is pacing himself for a late-June return.

Congratulations to Tim Wakefield, who reached the 3,000 career innings mark in his last start. The fact that he can still get big leaguers out is a testament to his legendary knuckleball.

It was nice to see Justin Masterson have some success, even though it happened against us. I think Cleveland has already gotten a solid return on Victor Martinez.

Shortstop Jose Iglesias had to go to the DL after being hit on the hand by a pitch, but should return shortly. Iglesias has been torching pitchers all season at Single- and Double-A.

Considering Boof Bonser’s first outing, I don’t share the enthusiasm of some about our bullpen right now; sure, Daniel Bard and Papelbon are great, but Hideki Okajima and Ramon Ramirez have been major disappointments, and Manny Delcarmen could revert to his old self at any time.

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