Ortiz enters Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on the heels of a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals in which he went 1-for-13, lowering his average to .249 and his on-base percentage to .348. The nine-time All-Star isn’t concerned, however, as big plans apparently are in the cards.
“I haven’t done (anything) this series, but we end up sweeping it. That’s good. That’s a good sign. Because you know I’ll be back,” Ortiz said after Sunday’s game, according to WEEI.com. “My timing’s a little off. But I’m about to get hotter than Jamaica in the middle of August.”
The average temperature in Montego Bay, Jamaica in August is roughly 90 degrees, for all you scoring at home. That means Ortiz intends to start sizzling at the dish, though it remains to be seen whether he’ll begin making strides this month or use August as a jumping off point. Ortiz is hitting .241 (13-for-54) in 14 games in July.
Ortiz has shown pop this season, jacking a team-high 20 home runs and racking up 64 RBIs. The 38-year-old wasn’t selected to the All-Star Game for just the second time since joining the Red Sox prior to the 2003 season, though, and there have been points, like this past weekend, when he has looked a bit overanxious offensively.
“I think David’s in one of those little stretches right now — I think we witnessed one earlier in the season — he’s trying to get some things going,” Manager John Farrell said Sunday after the Red Sox completed a sweep of the Royals. “He’s been offering at some pitches early in the count, which might not be characteristic. But as he’s gone through these stretches, we’re confident he’ll be back as the hitter we know.”
Ortiz’s absence from this year’s All-Star Game was a bit strange. There certainly were more deserving designated hitters for a change, but Big Papi has long been a staple in the Midsummer Classic. Ortiz even thinks the extra down time could be to blame for him getting on top of some balls over the weekend.
“I feel like that All-Star break, having those four days didn’t help me,” Ortiz told WEEI.com. “Physically, they helped me. But timing-wise, I feel a little off.”
Pedroia made his “Tent City” claim on June 6. Since then, he has hit .282 (42-for-149) with two homers and 19 RBIs in 38 games. It has marked an improvement over Pedroia’s slow start, but the Red Sox probably hope Jamaica is a tad hotter, as Boston really needs Ortiz’s thump in the middle of the order.