When Michael Chavis was called up by the Red Sox on April 19, the team was 6-13 and losers of three straight. It wasn't a good start for the team to say the least.
Chavis' opportunity came thanks to several roster changes that day, particularly with infielders Eduardo Nunez and Dustin Pedroia hitting the injured list.
At the time of his call-up, Chavis was regarded as a short-term solution for the Red Sox. But in the 35 games that he's played, the 23-year-old has made it clear that he's here to stay.
Heading into tonight's four-game set against the Yankees, the 5'10'' Chavis is hitting .269/.364/.507 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs on the year.
Chavis is hitting just .194 (7-for-36) in his last nine games, which isn't anything new for the rookie. From May 4-11, Chavis endured an 0-for-19 skid, which immediately followed a 13-for-26 stretch which included four dingers. But once that hitless streak ended, he followed it up with an 11-for-32 showing. No big deal!
Since his Major League debut on April 20, Chavis leads the Red Sox with his 10 dingers, and is second in RBIs to Xander Bogaerts who has 29.
Among qualifying American League rookies, Chavis ranks second in runs, homers, and RBIs to Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe (who's played 13 more games with 46 more at-bats). Lowe's hit 11 homers and driven in 32 with a solid .278/.332/.533 slash line, with 11 doubles to Chavis' two.
One of those doubles by Chavis, you'll recall, came on his first ever plate appearance as a pinch-hitter which set up a game-winning sac fly:
That was Chavis' official entrance, and he's been an everyday player just about ever since. Although he has just one double since, his 10 homers are pretty impressive as well. They go pretty far too—Chavis currently has four of the longest five home runs for the Sox this season.
It's obvious that Chavis isn't going anywhere. Right now, he's the team's starting second baseman, as Dustin Pedroia isn't returning anytime soon. Chavis has also recently started some games at first base, as he hasn't committed an error yet in 52 chances.
Chavis really has been the spark that the Red Sox have needed. He's been a wonderful source of energy and production for this club. If he keeps it up, there's no reason he won't be in the Rookie of the Year discussion at the end of the year. He's made the most of his opportunity, and it became clear to the Red Sox that he couldn't be taken out of the lineup.
These four games coming up in New York against the Yankees will be Chavis' first taste of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. He's hit just one homer in his last nine games, so look for him to put at least one over the wall during some point this series.