Red Sox Should Expect Boost With David Ortiz’s Return: A Look Inside the Numbers


Aug 24, 2011

Red Sox Should Expect Boost With David Ortiz's Return: A Look Inside the Numbers When it comes to a guy who makes his living hitting baseballs, so much so that it's in his job title, David Ortiz is always surrounded by numbers, and by those who analyze them.

With his return to the Red Sox lineup Wednesday, it's worth looking inside the numbers a bit, just to see what kind of impact his absence had on the team’s offensive attack.

During Ortiz's nine-game absence with right heel bursitis, the Red Sox hit .235 (69-for-293) as a team. In the nine games before that, they were at .288 (90-for-313). However, they had more extra-base hits without him (26) than with him (25) in the order.

The Sox averaged 4.6 runs per game in the nine contests before Ortiz went out, but just 4.1 without him.

Some of this is flawed because Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury were also out for some of the games that Ortiz missed, so the lineup suffered in more ways than one. Also, many of the lesser numbers that came during Ortiz's departure are a result of that one series against Tampa Bay in which Boston managed just nine hits.

Since then, the club has hit .287 (60-for-209) as a team.

One number that may garner some interest is this: Before he went down with the heel injury, Ortiz was on pace for 107.5 RBIs. After losing nine games, he is now on pace for 99.9. It’s doubtful that every milestone will be a factor in his contract negotiations, but if they are, he is likely very happy they gave that disputed RBI back earlier this month. Or is he?

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