Back to the bench with you, Daniel Nava

Jared Wickerham

During the 2013 championship season, Boston Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava accounted for 8.4 percent of his team's total plate appearances. This ranked fifth, behind stalwarts Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortíz, and Mike Napoli. And Nava performed well! Among the Red Sox with at least 250 plate appearances, Nava's OPS ranked third, just the tiniest smidgen behind second-place Napoli.

During the 2013 postseason, Nava has accounted for 3.7 percent of the Red Soxes' plate appearance. And his inactivity is even more dramatic than you might guess; the switch-hitting Nava is significantly better against right-handed pitchers than left-handed pitchers, but only two of the Red Soxes' 11 postseason games have been started by southpaws.

He's not been platooned. Neither does he seem to be seriously injured. He's started four postseason games and pinch-hit in another, and he has four hits and three walks in just 15 plate appearances. As usual, he's been an on-base machine. An on-base machine that might get rusty with disuse.

I've written twice about the disuse of Shelby Miller, and now I've written twice about the disuse of Daniel Nava. The situations are of course completely different. Miller's pitched just one inning all month, and essentially his roster spot is simply wasted, with Mike Matheny essentially using a 24-man roster. Nava's been used ... but not nearly enough, apparently because Jonny Gomes has become John Farrell's talisman, a good-luck charm who just doesn't happen to hit right-handed pitching real well. Which just might become a problem, since all four of the Cardinals' starting pitchers are right-handed.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention ... Nava's out of the lineup in Game 2, too.

Hey, I remember when science was going to end the Curse of the Bambino. But I guess since the Curse was ended, now anything goes.

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