Red Sox manager Terry Francona gave voice to the obvious when he sat designated hitter David Ortiz during Monday's series finale against the Chicago White Sox. Francona said that Ortiz had "not been swinging real well," which isn't news to anyone who watched the big lefty go 2-for-22 with seven strikeouts on Boston’s recent road trip.
The Red Sox are hopeful that the familiar confines of Fenway Park help their struggling slugger get his timing back. So far, so good.
Ortiz went 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs scored in the series opener against the Orioles on Tuesday.
Entering play Wednesday, the Red Sox have 13 more regular-season games against AL East opponents. Ortiz's familiarity with opposing pitchers could help him regain his power stroke.
Over the course of his career, Ortiz has been remarkably consistent in September and October. But consistency has been Ortiz's problem this season — as he's varied his stance and experimented with his swing, he's been unable to produce as he has in seasons past.
His power numbers will need to increase this year to have a positive impact on the team's performance down the stretch.