Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
David Ortiz sustained a calf injury in one of the last few games of the spring and that injury has kept nagging at him into the beginning of the regular season. However, Ortiz has been in the lineup for each of the first two games of the season in Baltimore, suggesting that the injury is not serious. And last night, Ortiz made it fairly clear that not only is the injury mild enough that he is able to play, it also isn’t hampering his performance much.
After drawing a walk against starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez in the first inning, Ortiz crushed an absolute bomb in the third inning, putting the Red Sox up 2-0 at the time. Ortiz still seemed to hobble a bit when running, but he has never been a great runner and his job is to hit, which through the tremendous sample size of two games, he has done.
Big Papi had a miserable spring in 2014, slashing a terrible .054/.125/.162 in 40 plate appearances. However, he has continued to add to the argument that spring training means nothing after his hot start to the season. Ortiz will look to continue adding power to a relatively on-base oriented lineup as it appears he will be slated to hit in the third spot in the batting order, at least until Shane Victorino returns. Last year, Ortiz slashed .309/.395/.564 with 30 home runs and despite being 38 years old, he has shown no signs of slowing down. If Ortiz can manage similar production in 2014, then the Red Sox will again be one of the best lineups in baseball.