It’s a new year, which means it’s time for resolutions. Some people have given up smoking. Others have ditched drinking (soda or booze). And millions undoubtedly have vowed to exercise more.
Boston Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, meanwhile, is thinking about doing away with switch-hitting as he prepares for the 2015 Major League Baseball season.
“I have thought about it,” Nava told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford by phone Monday. “Is it something I’m going to do? I don’t know. It’s a tough thing to do. (Shane) Victorino did it a couple of years ago, just dropping it. It definitely runs through my head. It’s definitely something I’m considering doing, but at the same time it’s something I’ve never done.
“Would I even be effective lefty on lefty, or would it be better hitting against lefties from the right side. I would have to go out and give it a test run.”
Nava’s potential change makes sense. He’s long been a more productive hitter from the left side, and his splits were especially pronounced in 2014. The Red Sox also have plenty of right-handed-hitting outfielders in tow, meaning Nava’s role wouldn’t change much — if at all — if he opted to hit exclusively left-handed.
“I didn’t think about it too much in 2013, but then last year I definitely thought about it,” Nava told Bradford. “I’ve talked with (Red Sox hitting coach) Chili (Davis) about it before when I struggled in 2011. I asked him what he thought I should do because sometimes I felt terrible from one side. He told me you never feel the same on both sides, but there’s definitely a side I had more of a challenge with.”
Nava is a .293 hitter with an .813 OPS in 1,112 career plate appearances batting left-handed. He’s a .209 hitter with a .585 OPS in 337 plate appearances batting right-handed.
The 31-year-old hit .293 with a .769 OPS in 341 plate appearances batting left-handed in 2014. He hit .159 with a .399 OPS in 67 plate appearances as a right-handed hitter.
Nava told Bradford he has hit from both sides of the plate since probably Little League. But now might be a good time to switch things up, all things considered.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images