With opening day right around the corner, the Boston Red Sox have been making strides in order to have a successful season.
Unfortunately, it might be at the loss of David Ortiz, who has missed all of Spring Training due to nagging heel injuries. Though he is expected back before the start of the season, the question remains on whether he will be a key contributor as he has been in past years.
Coming off an injury-plagued season with 23 HRs, 60 RBIs and a .318 BA, Ortiz was still able to provide a much-needed spark to a struggling team. Though the Sox ended the season in last place, it was still a productive year for Big Papi.
There were many speculating that Ortiz would leave Boston after a season that included gripes with manager Bobby Valentine, causing an extensive case of “clubhouse cancer” that seemed incurable at the time.
At 37 and on the DL, can much be expected of Ortiz in 2013? Last year, in a game against the Chicago White Sox, Ortiz injured his Achilles while rounding the bases after an Adrian Gonzalez home run, which caused him to miss a good portion of the season.
Now, he is currently experiencing pain in both of his heels. Is it only a matter of time before Ortiz is incapable of performing at all? Recently, Ortiz has been spotted partaking in batting practice, but has continuously made it clear that he is far from one hundred percent. Though it is slow progress, it is progress nonetheless.
Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard seemed to share a common concern with Ortiz. He too was a victim of an Achilles tear that he suffered in the final at-bat of the 2011 NL Division Series, which caused him to be sidelined for the first half of last season.
It seems that Ortiz is taking the Howard’s cautioned approach to recovery, as he has no plans on returning anytime soon. Ortiz can only hope that this injury is a minor setback in order to return to the field as soon as possible. If not, then we may see the tragic end of the David Ortiz era in Beantown.