Top prospect Chavis called up by Red Sox

Nunez heads to 10-day IL; Lin recalled from Triple-A

April 19th, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- With a collection of injuries in the infield, the Red Sox have created some excitement for this weekend’s three-game series against the Rays by promoting , their No. 1-ranked prospect, from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Friday marked the first callup to the Major Leagues for Chavis, who is ranked No. 75 among all prospects by MLB Pipeline.

In a subsequent move, infielder Eduardo Nunez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a mid-back strain, retroactive to Thursday. In addition, infielder Tzu-Wei Lin was recalled from Pawtucket and right-hander Erasmo Ramirez was designated for assignment.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

Second baseman was placed on the injured list on Thursday with irritation in his left knee, so Lin and Chavis will help replenish Boston’s infield, which is also without Brock Holt, who is on the IL with a scratched cornea in his right eye.

Though Chavis has played five games at second base for Pawtucket, he is just starting to learn the position. On Friday, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Lin will garner the majority of the playing time there.

“We’ve got Lin; he’s going to play a lot,” Cora said. “[Chavis] is a work in progress. He’s been making the routine plays. He can play first, he can play third and he can hit. That’s a right-handed bat that’s going to help us out.”

Chavis is most comfortable at third base and first base, but his calling card is his bat. He has four homers, six RBIs and a .954 OPS in 40 at-bats this season.

It will be interesting to see if Chavis can provide an energy boost for a Boston team off to a 6-13 start.

The Red Sox selected Chavis in the first round (26th overall) of he 2014 Draft out of Sprayberry High School in Georgia.

After initially struggling in the Minors, Chavis busted out in 2017, when he smashed 31 homers in a season split between Class A Salem and Double-A Portland.

Many people expected Chavis to debut for the Red Sox at some point in 2018, but his progress was slowed when he was suspended 75 games for testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a PED. Chavis flourished after returning from his suspension, hitting .298 with nine homers, 27 RBIs and a .919 OPS in the Minors last season.

He spent the first few weeks of Spring Training with the Red Sox this year, and made his presence felt, leading all Boston players in homers (four) and RBIs (10) in just 22 at-bats.

“Most likely, Lin will play the majority of the games at second, and we’ll find ways to get Michael at-bats,” Cora said. “He’s swinging the bat well, and far. I’m happy for the kid that he’s a big leaguer, and hopefully he can make an impact like he did in Spring Training.”

The 25-year-old Lin offers some infield stability and versatility at a time when the Red Sox need it. He began the season with Pawtucket before being recalled by Boston on April 6. He made his lone appearance for the Red Sox that night, pinch-hitting in the club’s 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In seven games with the PawSox this season, he has gone 8-for-28 (.286) with three doubles and three walks, making five starts at shortstop, one at second base, and one in left field. One of only four position players in Major League history born in Taiwan, the left-handed hitter has appeared in 63 games for Boston over the past three seasons.