Carp was enjoying a steak with teammates Dustin Pedroia and Will Middlebrooks Sunday night when he got the text from manager John Farrell telling he would start Monday's game in left field. Nava moved from left to right.
"First off, I'm bummed for Shane," said Carp. "He's obviously one of my good friends. Starting Opening Day is a big honor. It can't get any better than that. It's an exciting time and I'm excited to get the season going and get our title defense on the way. First of 162 games here today."
Carp batted fifth in Boston's batting order.
"Another left-handed bat in the lineup, and Mike Carp has been swinging the bat very well coming out of camp, so those things and plus it gives us a right-hander on the bench in Jonny in a role that he's accustomed to," said Farrell. "But with Vic out of the lineup, we're going to see a little bit of a rotation with all five outfielders. That's currently where we are."
The Red Sox happen to be their deepest at the positions Carp can play -- first base, designated hitter and the corner-outfield spots. That left him with only 216 at-bats in 2013, despite a solid season that included an .886 OPS.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.