BOSTON — Daniel Nava is the Red Sox’s odd man out.
Red Sox manager John Farrell revealed Thursday that Rubby De La Rosa would make Saturday’s start against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. The Red Sox optioned Nava to Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday to make room for the young right-hander.
Nava, who was recalled from Pawtucket last Saturday, appeared in five games with the Red Sox during his second stint with the major league club this season. The 31-year-old is hitting .130 (10-for-77) in 22 games with the Red Sox overall in 2014. He’s hitting .253 (21-for-83) with three homers and 14 RBIs in 24 games with Pawtucket.
The Red Sox had several demotion candidates but ultimately opted to send down Nava because of what outfielder/first baseman Alex Hassan and reliever Alex Wilson give the team at this point.
“Given the workload of the bullpen of late, we wanted to keep Alex Wilson with multi-inning capability in the event the need arises, just so we’re not overtaxing that group that’s been taxed,” Farrell explained before Saturday’s game. “And keeping Alex Hassan was a right-handed bat given the balance of the lineup and the number of left-handed hitters that we currently have.”
De La Rosa will make his first major league start as a member of the Red Sox on Saturday. The 25-year-old made 10 big league starts with the Los Angeles Dodgers before the August 2012 blockbuster, posting a 3-5 record and 3.88 ERA in those outings. De La Rosa’s last major league start came against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 31, 2011.
De La Rosa is 2-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 10 starts with Pawtucket this season. He made 11 relief appearances with the Red Sox in 2013, posting a 5.56 ERA (seven earned runs in 11 1/3 innings) and 1.50 WHIP.
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