Michael Chavis “needs to make adjustments” to be on Boston Red Sox roster, says Alex Cora: “Nothing is guaranteed on this roster”


Of all the players on the Red Sox 40-man roster, Michael Chavis could have the most to gain – or lose – in spring training.

Chavis, who has played 137 major league games since his call-up in April 2019, is not guaranteed a spot on the squad like he was a year ago. With the addition of versatile options Kiké Hernandez and Marwin Gonzalez, Chavis appears to be on the outside when it comes to Boston’s opening day roster.

After struggling in 2020, it’s clear that Chavis will have to fight for a place on the bench this spring.

“He has to make adjustments,” manager Alex Cora said on Sunday. “I didn’t see him a lot last year, but he played a bit in left field, I know. He can play first, he can play third, he can play second. The thing with him, we like the swing and we like the power but he needs to make some adjustments. He needs to make contact. He has to hit the lefties. Its very important. He looks in better shape than two years ago. He’s lost weight but he’s still strong. He worked on second base, but we will use him at those three positions in infield and we will continue to push him to play left field.

“There is nothing guaranteed on this list,” he continued. “There are some guys who are there to prepare for the season, but in his case, he has to prove to us that he has made adjustments throughout the offseason.

Chavis, a former first-round pick and top prospect, got off to a flying start after making his debut, posting a .967 OPS and hitting 10 home runs in his first 28 games. He then cooled down considerably over the summer before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in August, with Cora believing that league pitchers quickly learned of Chavis’ tendencies and have him ” exposed ”by throwing fast balls that he couldn’t hit.

In 2020, there was no batting presence in the minor leagues and the Sox lacked depth in the field, so Chavis spent the entire year in the major leagues despite struggling throughout the 60’s season. matches. He only touched .212 with a .636 OPS in 42 games while seeing the time at first base (24 games), second base (eight games) and left field (12 games). A natural shortstop, Chavis split the time between the first and second in 2019; the Red Sox began experimenting with him in left field at the end of last season.

Chavis has hit in 32.8% of his home plate appearances since his debut and, despite being a powerful right-hander, has only hit .222 with a .699 OPS against left-handed people so far in his career in the big leagues. Considering Hernandez is likely the starting second baseman and Switch-hitting Gonzalez will be spending a lot of time in the outfield peloton with Franchy Cordero and Hunter Renfroe, Chavis doesn’t have a fit. clear about the group of 26 men.

Speaking on NESN last week, Cora said he plans to have a three-man bench to start the season, so there appears to be a place to be won alongside Gonzalez and backup wide receiver Kevin Plawecki. Infielder Christian Arroyo, who impressed last year and has no options left in the minor leagues, appears to have the upper hand over Chavis, who can be sent to Triple-A at any time.

Chavis has more versatility than Arroyo, however, so a good performance at camp could propel him to a place on the roster. Cora will be keeping a close eye on what Chavis looks like when the Grapefruit League games start next weekend.

“Although spring training is spring training, I would love to see him make contact, thereby reducing the chase rate,” said Cora. “If he does that, he’ll put himself in a good position.”

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