It’s a long season. David Ortiz is 37 years old. The slugger typically doesn’t play the field.
That’s a recipe for some aches and pains when Ortiz grabs his glove and plays first base during interleague play in National League ballparks, especially when the Red Sox’ road trip requires flying across the country.
Ortiz said after Monday’s game in San Francisco that he was sore — a product of the Red Sox going straight to the ballpark after the team’s cross-country flight Monday morning. The slugger apparently felt some more discomfort during Wednesday’s game, and manager John Farrell decided to replace Ortiz with Mike Napoli at first base prior to the bottom of the fifth inning.
“Just some general soreness, a little bit low back,” Farrell said following Wednesday’s game. “Two out of three days on his feet at first base and not accustomed to it. With the lead we had, we got him off his feet and protected him.”
The Red Sox were leading 6-1 when Ortiz exited the game, and Boston eventually secured a 12-1 victory. The Sox will have Thursday off before opening up a three-game set against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Friday. It’s unclear at this point how Farrell plans to use Ortiz during the series in L.A.
“I think when we get through the next couple of days, we’ll kind of see where he’s at,” Farrell said. “We certainly have to factor it in and he’ll be a big part of that as we make those decisions.”
Ortiz finished the series against the Giants 0-for-8 with four strikeouts.