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Tomase: Chavis admits his future with the Sox is murky at best originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Michael Chavis faces an uphill climb to make the Red Sox roster, and not only does he know it, he's at peace with it.
"I'm not even sure if I have a place on the team," Chavis admitted Wednesday. "That's what I'm trying to earn. I'm not ashamed to say that, I'm not worried about it."
The 25-year-old slugger appears boxed out at every position after the Red Sox placed a premium on versatility this winter. Chavis has spent the bulk of his career at first and second base, positions manned by Enrique Hernandez and Bobby Dalbec, respectively. Both are right-handed hitters, like Chavis, which means he's not a good platoon partner for either of them. Meanwhile, switch hitters Marwin Gonzalez and Danny Santana play those positions, too.
Chavis has played 12 games in left field in an effort to expand his versatility, but he hasn't taken a single rep there so far this spring, and manager Alex Cora said on Thursday that he has no plans to play Chavis in the outfield, preferring he instead focus on the infield and his swing.
So what is Chavis to do? Not sweat it, for one. He noted that he tried playing general manager as a Single-A prospect and ended up playing himself into a hellacious slump. Because he has options, he's almost certainly ticketed for Triple-A Worcester to start the season, but that hasn't stopped him from putting his best foot forward in camp.
He arrived noticeably slimmer and faster, and through six games he's hitting .429 with a pair of homers (including a walk-off) and a 1.429 OPS.
"It's obviously a little bit of an awkward situation, but I'm huge on mental skills," Chavis said. "Everybody knows that. I'm able to rest my cap knowing that I did what I needed to do to prepare for this. I worked really hard this offseason. I truly did everything I could to prepare for this."
Because manager Alex Cora explained in the offseason that he planned on emphasizing speed and athleticism, Chavis spent his winter in Georgia working primarily on his speed and athleticism. He beat out an infield single on Sunday, which he considered rewarding, and isn't ashamed to say he's proud of the improvements he has made athletically.
"It's kind of weird," Chavis said. "A lot of times people will work hard at something and they're hesitant to admit the fact that they worked hard, and it's something that I'm proud of. I worked really hard and I did what I needed to do to prepare for this season. I'm comfortable knowing and saying that."
After hitting just .212 and continuing to struggle against high fastballs last year, he understands that he may be on the outside looking in when the opening day roster is set.
"In regards to my position, I'm not sure if I have one," he said. "I'm not sure where I fit in, but as uncomfortable as that is and as awkward as that is, it's weird but I don't feel uncomfortable, because like I said, I worked my butt off this offseason. I did what I needed to do to prepare for this, so if I don't earn a spot, I did what I needed to do and I can sleep knowing that."