After getting his 'feet wet,' Nava bats leadoff

After getting his 'feet wet,' Nava bats leadoff

After getting his 'feet wet,' Nava bats leadoff
BOSTON -- The Red Sox had a new look to their lineup on Monday afternoon, as Daniel Nava batted leadoff for the first time this season and Mike Aviles occupied the No. 9 spot.

This wasn't a demotion for Aviles, but more of a break. Valentine expects to restore Aviles to leadoff on Wednesday.

"He does a great job and I think once in a while, being he's playing every day, I think he just needs a little breather, and today he's in the ninth spot," Valentine said. "Two days from now, he'll be in the leadoff spot, probably."

Aviles is an aggressive hitter, so he's not the prototypical leadoff man.

"There's no way of measuring it," Valentine said. "I'd love to have traditional on-base guys in front of the guys who hit home runs and everything. When you're making do with what you have, I don't mind a guy who can do some damage up there. And you know, Mike has done a great job."

Valentine continues to enjoy the contributions of Nava.

"Nava has played so well," Valentine said. "His at-bats are calm and deep and he might have the best on-base percentage on our team for this short period, whatever that's worth. Hopefully he'll get on in front of the big spots. I was reluctant to do it earlier, only because he was getting his feet wet at the Major League level and I didn't want to get him in over his head. It seems like he's settled in nicely."

Like everyone else, Valentine knew that Nava had hit a grand slam in his first Major League at-bat back in 2010. But he didn't know a whole lot else, mainly because Nava wasn't even on the Spring Training roster this season.

"Well, he wasn't even on my radar when I got to Spring Training or even during the winter time, so I'm pleasantly, extremely surprised and happy," Valentine said. "[He's a] great guy."