Should Mike Lowell Remain in the Starting Lineup as Boston’s Designated Hitter?

Should Mike Lowell Remain in the Starting Lineup as Boston's Designated Hitter? With the struggles of David Ortiz well documented, is it time for Mike Lowell to assume starting duties at designated hitter?

Lowell pinch-hit for Ortiz on Tuesday night when left-handed pitcher Darren Oliver headed to the mound. Big Papi then sat the next two games due to the starting pitcher being left-handed.

Even with right-handed relief pitchers coming into the game, Ortiz stayed glued to the pine in Boston's second and third contests against the Rangers. While Ortiz is struggling with a .146 batting average, .222 on-base percentage and .268 slugging percentage, Lowell is staying busy with a line of .300/.391/.450.

Is it time for the Red Sox to install the previously unwanted third baseman as the new designated hitter? While Lowell won't provide 30 home runs, many agree that he is the better option in terms of overall offensive production.

However, there's no denying the slugging power Ortiz brings to the lineup when he's clicking. Even despite his messy start to the 2009 season, the 34-year-old rebounded to crank 27 home runs after May, acting as one of the American League's best hitters over that timespan.

In addition, Lowell and Ortiz clearly show platoon splits that indicate it may be best to start the third baseman against lefties and the longtime Sox DH against righties. 

In 2009, the 36-year-old Lowell posted a .886 OPS against left-handers and a .784 mark against righties. Ortiz' OPS was .827 against righties, .716 against lefties.

Is it time to make a switch, or does David Ortiz deserve more time?

Share your thoughts below. The best comments will be read on NESN's Red Sox Gameday Live or Red Sox Final.

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