Mags confident about Papi
Slowly but surely, David Ortiz seems to be getting out of his crisis point. Since the calendar flipped from April to May, it has been a different Papi. The lefty slugger is hitting .310 with three homers and seven RBIs in May. He is feeling confident and looking it. One sign of that was how well Ortiz worked himself into that 3-2 count in the ninth yesterday with the game on the line. It should have been a walk, but we all know what happened on the call. Another good sign is that he was the only Boston player to have a hit against Blue Jays righty Shaun Marcum in Wednesday’s game, belting a pair of line singles.
At any rate, hitting coach Dave Magadan is seeing signs every day of a rejuvenated Ortiz.
“He’s done a lot of work, like he always does,” Magadan said. “He’s taken a lot of extra batting practice. What he’s working on is showing up in games. He’s not afraid to get here early and do the things he needs to do to get back on track. He’s showing signs of it. He’s showing a little more consistency. He put a couple good swings on balls today. With his continued hard work, I see him turning the corner, continuing to take good swings, being a little more consistent putting the ball in play hard. When he does that, he’s going to get hits.”
Of late, Ortiz has been spraying the ball to all fields.
“He just needs to hit the ball where it’s pitched. I was saying earlier, when he’s struggling, he’s fouling a lot of pitches off. He’s missing the pitch. When he’s going good, he’s putting good swings on the ball and hitting them hard,” Magadan said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s up the middle, to right field, off the Monster. As long as he’s hitting the ball where it’s pitched and driving it, he’s on his way.”
Finally, it seems Ortiz is stockpiling consecutive quality at-bats.
“He’s putting consistently good swings on balls,” Magadan said. “He’s putting himself in a good position to put a good swing on the ball. He’s ready on time. He’s a little more direct to the ball. The guys that are throwing 93, 94, 95, he’s getting to those pitches. He’s seeing the off-speed better. When you don’t have to start earlier or cheat to get to the hard stuff, you tend to take the nasty breaking balls. He’s done a better job of that. He’s just put a lot of hard work in, and you’re starting to see the results of that now.”
Ortiz’s frustration is starting to turn into determination.
“He’s always been confident,” Magadan said. “He’s always had the attitude that it’s just a matter of time before he breaks out of it. We all have confidence that it’s going to happen. He looks too good in his pre-game work, in his prep before the game and his routine, it looks too good for it not to eventually show up in the game. He’s starting to show signs of it now.”
Ortiz expressed his own optimism about the way things are headed in his most recent MLBlog.