Boston Red Sox manager, John Farrell suggested his designated hitter is ‘highly unlikely’ to be ready for opening day. David Ortiz has been shut down at spring training for five-to-seven days. The DH has been rehabbing an injury sustained last season.
The Red Sox will have to explore options to replace Ortiz’s big bat in the lineup. The team will look for an internal option before looking elsewhere in the free agent and trade markets. The 37-year-old’s home run power and intimating meaner will be missed in the Red Sox lineup come opening day, however, they hope he is not out too long.
Internally the best option for the Red Sox would be to move outfielder Jonny Gomes to the DH spot and break camp with Jackie Bradley Jr. in the outfield. Moving Gomes to DH doesn’t solve the home run loss, however, it gives the Red Sox the ability to have Bradley in the lineup come opening day.
Bradley has turned heads at the Red Sox spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla. The outfielder has played in 11 spring training games, posting a .478 batting average and .586 on base percentage. The Red Sox second ranked prospect has played well enough to break camp with the team, however, the front office would most likely like to have him play another season in the minors. The status of Ortiz may change what the Red Sox will do with the prospect.
Externally, Carlos Lee and Bobby Abreu could be options to replace Ortiz’s power. If the Red Sox want to keep Bradley in the minors, they could possibly seek the help of former Red Sox outfielder, Johnny Damon, however, that is unlikely.
Ortiz not being ready by opening day is just another reason why the Red Sox should not have signed him to a multi-year deal. It will turn out to be a big mistake.