Despite logjam, Nava not fretting about playing time

After opening last season as a starter, will play reserve role in '15

Despite logjam, Nava not fretting about playing time

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though there is a logjam that will likely squeeze Daniel Nava out of the same playing time he's had the past two years, the outfielder isn't stressing about it.

Nava has rare perspective, considering he was undrafted and had to be discovered from the independent league before the Red Sox even found him. And in Spring Training 2012, Nava had gone from the guy who hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the Major Leagues to someone who wasn't even on the 40-man roster anymore.

Somehow, Nava always survives, and he has faith he will again this time.

TV/radio: Nava's grand slam

"I'm used to stuff like this," said Nava. "It's not that I wouldn't want [more playing time], but I've been in these type of positions. I'm grateful for what I have. I've had a lot of opportunities that weren't playing baseball, so I'll take this one."

Nava came into 2014 as a starting outfielder, after doing a solid job the year before. But he got off to an anemic start and wound up being optioned to the Minor Leagues twice.

When Nava returned, he rediscovered his stroke. After starting the season just 10-for-77 (.130), Nava batted posted a .308 average in 91 games starting on June 4.

"I think I was just pressing, trying to do too much," said Nava. "After that, I got a chance to slow things down, and it was the classic, 'Letting the game come to you,' and that helped. Hopefully I can learn from that."

The one thing Nava has going for him in his battle for a roster spot is that he's a switch-hitter. All of Boston's starting outfielders are right-handed hitters. Nava also plays first base, and he could complement the right-handed-hitting Mike Napoli in that spot at times.

"Daniel's going to be in the same role he's been the last couple years -- a versatile guy who plays first and two corner outfield positions," said manager John Farrell. "With the number of right-handed hitters we have at first and in the outfield, his left-handed bat is a great complement. In the last two years, he's proven himself to be a very good Major League hitter."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.