The only question is, who will be able to step in and fill those shoes in Papi's absence?
There is the newly returned Carl Crawford, currently sitting comfortably in the two spot in the order. This opens up an interesting predicament. The DH replacement has to hit for power, and while his recent numbers between this season and last may not show it, Crawford is definitely capable of doing that. Crawford is flourishing in his current spot, so would it be worth it to move him and risk a slump as a result?
Same story with Adrian Gonzalez. He is doing his job in the cleanup spot and the same can be said for his fielding. Moving Gonzo off the field could help to reset his groove on defense after all the bouncing around he did between first base and right field earlier this season. One thing is for sure though — he would certainly produce offensively if put at the DH spot.
Besides those two, maybe the most intriguing replacement is Cody Ross. After homering twice against Chicago on Wednesday night, Ross added a walk-off bomb to his resume on Thursday night. He is batting .274 with 16 home runs heading into Friday's action, so power shouldn't be an issue. Plus, moving Ross to the DH slot opens up a position in the outfield for, say, Daniel Nava or Ryan Sweeney.
Or is there an even better option for the Sox at DH?