ST. PETERSBURG -- Michael Chavis' season appears over. Though there has yet to be an official announcement from the Red Sox, manager Alex Cora said Thursday that his talented rookie was headed for winter ball in Puerto Rico.
The original plan was for Chavis to travel with the team to St. Petersburg, but the 24-year-old felt continued discomfort in his sore right oblique.
“We’re most likely going to shut him down,” Cora said. “It’s too bad he has to end this way. He did his best to get back.”
Chavis hasn't played in the Majors since Aug. 11. A sprained AC joint in his left shoulder caused his first absence, and he tweaked his oblique while working back from the shoulder issue.
The Red Sox infielder slashed .254/.322/.444 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs in 95 games this season. Cora said that in addition to racking up some extra at-bats in the Caribbean Winter League, Chavis will also be introduced to left field while playing for Criollos de Caguas.
Chavis has played 49 games at first base, 45 at second, five at third and one as the Red Sox designated hitter this season. While his imminent trip to Puerto Rico marks a disappointing end to a promising year, there was a silver lining.
“Where he plays, he can stop by my house, we can cook some Latin food and he can hang out with me,” Cora said.
• J.D. Martinez (left groin tightness) was not in Friday’s starting lineup for a third consecutive game but Cora said the slugger was available off the bench.
• Chris Sale (left elbow inflammation) joined the team at Tropicana Field. Sale, who is on the 60-day injured list, has been working out at the team’s Spring Training facility in Fort Myers, Fla.
• Heath Hembree (right lateral elbow inflammation) threw a simulated game Friday afternoon and reported no issues. If all goes well, Cora said the righty reliever will be activated for the three-game series against the Rangers that begins Tuesday in Texas.
• Infielder Sam Travis, who was hit in the head by a thrown ball while legging out a triple Wednesday, cleared concussion protocol and was cleared to play.
• Andrew Benintendi left Friday’s 5-4 loss to the Rays in the bottom of the third inning with a left thumb contusion and is day to day. The Red Sox left fielder was jammed on an inside pitch that he popped up to third base in the second inning. It stiffened up afterward, and he was replaced by Gorkys Hernandez in the third.
Cora was hopeful the injury was as minor as it initially appeared and guessed Benintendi would be back in action in 2-3 days.