The World Series teams are now in place, and as we all know by now, the Boston Red Sox will be playing against the St. Louis Cardinals. It will be interesting to see what happens when the games move into St. Louis, because the designated hitter will not be used, being that it is an NL park. That means that David Ortiz will have to play the field for at least a few games in order to keep his bat in the lineup.
This happened in 2004 and 2007 when Boston was in the World Series, and it is not the total disaster that it seems like some people are making it out to be. Yes, Ortiz does not play very much over there, but he did play a few games at first base this season and can hold his own. This isn’t an instance like having a designated hitter like Edgar Martinez, who didn’t play the field at all during the season and would be getting acclimated again to being out there, playing defense. Ortiz has had some game action at the position as recently as August when Boston played against the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Mike Napoli has worked very hard to become a good first baseman, but he is no defensive whiz like a Keith Hernandez. Having Ortiz at first instead of Napoli would not be a huge drop in defense. As a matter of fact, it is few and far between when you see Ortiz make an error out in the field. He may not be able to get to a lot of balls, but he can generally catch anything he can get to. Once in a while, he even makes a pretty good play out there.
Boston fans, don’t press the panic button just yet when Boston goes to St.Louis. Losing Napoli’s bat is a concern, but getting Ortiz’s glove isn’t horrible.