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Nava has strong debut at first base

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Daniel Nava is trying to increase his value to the Red Sox by adding the ability to play first base to his repertoire. Judging by his debut on Saturday, Nava has a strong chance to be an option at first for manager John Farrell once the games start for real.

Nava came into Saturday's game in the sixth inning to replace starter Lyle Overbay and made a nice play on a grounder by Ben Zobrist.

"I was excited because it's new," Nava said. "It's the first time. Any time you do something like that, it's just exciting. The guys did a great job of having me out here early to make sure I understood a lot of things. If they had just thrown me out there, I would've been up for the wolves to get me. I was happy, but at the same time, I've got a lot of stuff to work on."

This was Nava's first game action at first base since junior college.

"Up until today, I had more time on the mound in pro ball than I did at first base. And I'm glad this went better than that," said Nava. "That didn't go too well."

Because of Nava's patient approach at the plate, he's a player the Red Sox would like to have on their roster.

"He gives you a quality at-bat," said Farrell. "He's made himself a very good left fielder, defensively, with the hard work he's put in. We're going to see this Spring Training the versatility he can include in his game by going over to first base. His status doesn't hinge on his capability at first, but it would certainly add flexibility to our bench."