The defending World Series champs could use some help and, at least for now, they're turning to their top prospect.
The Red Sox are calling up Michael Chavis from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his Major League debut, the organization announced Friday. Tzu-Wei Lin was also recalled, while Eduardo Nunez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a mid-back strain, retroactive to April 18, and Erasmo Ramirez was designated for assignment. Boston is set to begin a three-game series in Tampa Bay on Friday night.
Chavis, the No. 76 overall prospect, was off to a powerful start in his return to the International League, collecting four homers and two doubles over 12 games while going 10-for-40 (.250) with the PawSox. Dating back to a brief eight-game stay last season, he has six long balls in 20 contests at the Minors' highest level.
Video: The Sox's top prospect clubbed a home run
A first-round pick out of a Georgia high school in 2014, Chavis broke out in 2017 with 31 homers and a .282/.347/.563 line over 126 games between Class A Advanced Salem and Double-A Portland. He was limited to 46 games last year, however, after being suspended for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. The right-handed slugger hit .298/.381/.538 with nine homers and 14 doubles that season.
How Chavis is used defensively in his first look with the big club is an open question, given Rafael Devers' status at third base. Drafted as a shortstop, Chavis has been primarily a third baseman over his six Minor League seasons. As he's gotten closer to the Majors, he has moved around the infield a bit, and that continued into the start of the 2019 season as Chavis has made six of his 12 defensive starts at third, five at second and one at first.
2019 MiLB include
The keystone could make the most sense with the Red Sox, who sit in last in the American League East with a 6-13 record. Boston has used Nunez, Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt and even catcher Christian Vazquez at second this season with limited results as Red Sox second basemen rank last in the Majors with a collective .314 OPS. Pedroia was moved to the injured list Thursday with left-knee irritation, and Brock Holt has been rehabbing with Pawtucket as he attempts to return from a scratched cornea in his right eye.
This is the second Major League callup of the season for Lin, who was 8-for-28 (.286) with three doubles in seven games with Pawtucket entering Friday. Ramirez allowed four earned runs in three innings out of the bullpen against the Yankees on Tuesday in his lone appearance with the Red Sox before being designated for assignment.