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Sunday, June 26, 2011

What to do with The Big Papi in NL parks

It's interleague time again folks, and this time the Sox head out on the road to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Houston. When the AL teams play in NL parks, there is no DH, and pitchers will step into the batters box in these games.
In the past 2 years, when David Ortiz had miserable Aprils and Mays, it wasn't hard to sit him for those 9 games. This year, he's experiencing a renaissance of sorts just mashing the snot out of the ball right out of the gate. With Crawford and Gonzalez in the line-up, he's lower in the batting order, and the pressure has been off him. He has responded with a season that will rank right up there with his best ones. Last time I checked, he projected to hit 42 home runs and drive in 109 runs.

So what will Tito do with him in those 9 games? The likely scenario is that Ortiz will play 1B and Gonzalez will move to right field. RF? Yes, RF. He has played 1 game there in his time in the big leagues when he was with Texas in 2005 during his rookie season. In that game, he made 3 catches and 1 error. Once Mark Teixeira left the game, he moved back to 1B, (That he surpassed Tex in the ASG voting this year makes 2 times he's replaced him.)

Tito does not want to sit Ortiz and his hot lumber for 9 games: "I don't want David to sit nine straight games. That bothers me." Ortiz has hit in 70 of the first 72 games of the 2011 campaign. That is someone you don't want sitting on your bench.

And what does Gonzo have to say about this? He told Boston reporters that he is game for the change—on a temporary basis, of course—but that Francona hasn't approached him about it yet. He likely will soon.

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