After officially inking his deal, Big Papi can now turn his attention to next season, where he’ll try to lead the Red Sox at the plate — and, more importantly, just stay on the field. Until suffering an Achilles injury, Ortiz was yet again one of the more-feared hitters in baseball, ending up with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs in the course of 90 games played.
However, the injury did bring up concerns about the 230-pound designated hitter’s durability. Even with Ortiz about to turn 37 years old, few are questioning the potency of his bat, but how many times he’ll come up to the plate — particularly with interleague play no longer confined to a two-off event — is less concrete.
Nonetheless, if Oritz does stay healthy, he’ll join Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Will Middlebrooks in what shoot be a deep lineup regardless of what the Red Sox do in the offseason. Thus, there should be plenty of protection for Papi in that lineup, and plenty of opportunities to hit home runs.