SEATTLE — The Boston Red Sox are giving highly touted prospect Rafael Devers a day to get acclimated to big league life. Then, he’s expected to make his first start in the majors – against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez.

Hoping to get more production at third base, the AL East leaders called up the 20-year-old Devers on Monday after just nine games at Triple-A Pawtucket.

“You can imagine how happy I felt when I heard the news,” Devers said through a translator. “It’s something that I’ve dreamed about for a long time and happy that it happened.”

The left-handed hitting Devers wasn’t in the starting lineup Monday night against tough lefty James Paxton. It was anticipated Devers would start Tuesday night at third base, facing Hernandez.

“We’re looking forward to a young, exciting prospect joining this team,” Manager John Farrell said. “We’ll look to hit him down in the bottom third of the order and, as we did with a number of guys when they first came up, probably play him against right-handers initially, ease him in against some left-handers when you feel like the matchup is there.”

Devers hit .300 with 18 homers and 56 RBI in 77 games with Double-A Portland, then hit .400 with two homers in his abbreviated stint at Pawtucket.

“He’s got a lot of bat potential and we’ll take the production he provides us,” Farrell said. “We also recognize his age and his experience level, there’s going to be some ups and downs along the way, and that would be totally expected.”

The Red Sox have a need at third after releasing veteran third baseman Pablo Sandoval on July 14 after 21/2 disappointing seasons. Boston has tried fill-ins at the spot, too. Division rival New York acquired third baseman Todd Frazier last week from the Chicago White Sox.

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski reiterated throughout the spring and early summer that Devers first would be promoted from the Sea Dogs to Triple-A Pawtucket, before any thought of a call up.

Devers did indeed head to Pawtucket, if only for nine games.

With the trade market for third basemen looking bleak, Dombrowski decided a week or so in Pawtucket was enough.

“He’s been exposed to a lot,” Dombrowski said. “We were very impressed last year when he was at Salem, he struggled early in the year, fought himself through that. This year at Double-A, he did tremendously. His numbers are as good as anybody that we’ve had at Double-A in recent time periods. And he’s handled it very well at Triple-A.”

The Red Sox sent special assignment scout Brad Sloan to Pawtucket to specifically watch Devers over the weekend to see how he reacted to certain plays and handled situations on and off the field.

Dombrowski talked to Vice President of Player Development Ben Crockett and Triple-A Manger Kevin Boles as well as assistant general manager Eddie Romero, who played a key role in signing Devers back in 2013.

“The consensus is that he’s a baseball player,” Dombrowski said. “Loves to play the game. He’s ready to handle it. He thinks he’s ready to handle it, so we figure we’ll give him the challenge.”

Devers said the Red Sox have not placed any expectations on him.

“No pressure,” he said. “Like I said before, it’s the same baseball for me and I’m just going to play it with the same fun that I’ve always played it with. So, no pressure, just take it one day at a time.”

Devers said he is looking forward to making his debut against Hernandez.

“Of course I admire him because he’s a pitcher who’s won (a Cy Young Award) and to be able to face him and watch him pitch is an awesome experience,” he said.

Although Devers was named the Red Sox minor league defensive player of the year in 2016 when he led the High-A Carolina League in fielding percentage for third basemen, his defense remains a work in progress. He committed 12 errors with Portland and four at Pawtucket.

“We know that we’re going to have to protect him a little bit,” Farrell said. “But, at the same time, here’s a guy that’s 20 years old, he’s in the big leagues, playing a position where he you can’t hide. And, we’re going to put him out there. Hopefully he continues to do what he did in Portland and Pawtucket, and that is make an impact with the bat.”

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello faced Devers a few times in spring training and said he’s a pain for pitchers.

“I love his swing and everything he does,” Porcello said. “I’m excited to see him.

Seattle’s Safeco Field is the same stadium in which Andrew Benintendi made his major league debut at age 22 last year.

“What Andrew brought to the table for us in our stretch run, and what he’s done this year, hopefully we can get that out of (Devers) and keep moving forward,” Porcello said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.