Monday September 05, 2011 | 12:56 PM

Those of use at Hadlock Field who know Nate Spears are smiling today.

Spears, 26, was called up to the major leagues today in this, his ninth professional season (and 958 minor league games).

Spears signed on with the Red Sox last year as a minor league free agent and stood out in Portland with a .272 average and 20 home runs, along with stellar defense. He also was one of the nicest guys you will meet.

Normally minor league free agents are one-year-and-done with an organization, but the Red Sox re-signed Spears and invited him to major league spring training camp. He impressed Terry Francona among others and stayed with the major league team, until he was sent to Pawtucket at the start of the season.

Spears fought through injuries this season, batting .248 in 96 games for the PawSox.

When new Red Sox infielder/outfielder Conor Jackson injured himself in Sunday's game, Spears was summoned to join the Red Sox. To make room for Spears on the 40-man roster, Drew Sutton was designated for assignment. Sutton just returned from the disabled list because of a finger injury.

The Spears promotion was one of a number of moves made Monday.

Former Sea Dogs pitcher Kyle Weiland was also promoted to the majors, making his second stint with the big league club. Weiland's promotion comes after Erik Bedard said he will skip a start as a precaution, because of a sore knee.

Also, as expected, catcher Ryan Lavarnway was promoted to Boston.

To replace Lavarnway and Spears in Pawtucket, catcher Dan Butler and utility man Ryan Khoury were promoted from Portland (Butler's move was made Sunday).

Other players from Portland may also be headed to Pawtucket, as needed. Knuckleball pitcher Charlie Haeger is on his way to Triple-A, although he has not been activated.

Joining the Sea Dogs for their final game today is infielder Matt Gedman. A 45th-round draft pick this summer, Gedman was in Lowell, where his father Rich is the hitting coach.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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