Results tagged ‘ David Ortiz ’

Six Sox Stars and one (sort of) snub

The Red Sox got plenty of respect from players around Major League Baseball as no fewer than six Boston players were slected to the All-Star Game via the player voting.

But just as newsy as Adrian Beltre, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Victor Martinez being named to the squad was the news that Kevin Youkilis did not make the cut.

Youkilis is one of the five AL players eligible for the Final Vote ballot, so Red Sox fans should go to http://www.mlb.com or http://www.redsox.com and vote if they want to support the gritty first baseman.

“I’m not a self promoter,” said Youkilis. “I’m not going to tell anyone to vote for me. I hope my family and friends vote for me. but it’s going to take more than that. For me, I’m going to go out and play baseball and not worry about it. I’ts out of my hands. You just go out and try to win a ballgame.”

Beltre seemed to be the guy that Sox players were the happiest for.

“No question, man,” said Ortiz. “If there’s one guy in this clubhouse who should be part of the All-Star Game, it’s Adrian. Adrian has been doing an unbelievable job for this ballclub and I think he’s earned it.”

Clay Buchholz has come the furthest in the shortest amount of time. Remember two years ago when he was so despondent and lost and posted a 6.75 ERA in 16 starts?

“There’s been a lot of ups and downs to get to this point. Being able to be named with the guys that are on, that’s awesome,” said Buchholz. “It’s something that I dreamed about growing up. I dreamed about just playing in the big leagues. I’m as happy as can be.”

Though Jon Lester has pitched like an All-Star since May of 2008, this is his first time officially being one.

“It’s obviously big,” said Lester. “It’s something you grow up watching as a kid, the home-run derby and everything. You see a lot of great players playing that game. It’s definitely an honor. Like I said before, I’m going to try to do my best to represent the Red Sox and hopefully do well out there.”

For Ortiz, this All-Star berth has to be particuarly gratifying, considering the number of people who were on the verge of giving up on him back in April.

“That’s a tough first month,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He said all along, ‘It’s a long year, stay with me.’ There’s probably days when he was irritated with me and probably days where he was more than irritated with some of you. He’s right. He’s been a terrific player and continues to be, and I think it’s great that he was recognized for that.”

At least outwardly, Ortiz took the news in stride.

“I really appreciate it, man, what the players think about a guy like myself,” Ortiz said. “Like I say, I’m a guy that I try to respect everyone and play the game the way it’s supposed to be. I think when you get voted in by the players, it’s just because pretty much everyone agrees with what you’re doing, so, I’d say I really appreciate that.”

For Pedroia, the All-Star nod has to be bittersweet since he currently is walking with crutches and obviously won’t be able to play in the game.

“It’s still a great honor,” Pedroia said. “I’m really excited. The players voted me in? That’s pretty cool. Pretty special. I’m excited about it.”

As for Youkilis, Ortiz said to get out there and vote.

“Yeah man, all of you out there, you guys make sure that my boy Youk comes on this flight. You can’t play no better than that,” said Ortiz. “When I found out he wasn’t going, I was kind of upset. A guy that has put it together like Youk thorugh the years and especially this season, he really deserves to be out there. I know a lot of people will keep that in mind and make sure Youk is an all-star. He deserves to be in there.”

Ellsbury still ailing; more rest prescribed

We will get more information from Red Sox manager Terry Francona in a little bit,  but Jacoby Ellsbury’s visit to the renowned Dr. Lewis Yocum in California revealed that the center fielder is still needs more rest for his ailing left ribs, which have been injured since that jarring collision with Adrian Beltre on April 11 in Kansas City.

In other news, David Ortiz has really struggled on this road trip, going 1-for-22 over the first six games. His average has gone from .273 to .242 in that span. And Dustin Pedroia just can’t get going at the plate. The second baseman is hitting .248, the lowest his average has been since April 9, when he was at .235.

The Red Sox will try to make it three out of four in Cleveland tonight between the red-hot Jon Lester.

Optimism on Cameron; Brakes on Beckett

Good news and semi-bad news on the Red Sox’s injury front today.

Mike Cameron was examined by a specialist today, and there are no significant problems with his lower abdomen. Instead, he has normal soreness that is to be expected considering the time he missed with the injury in the first place. Cameron won’t play tonight and tomorrow is a day game, so that could be a stretch. Friday in Baltimore? That might be pretty realistic.

“Good update,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He was seen this morning. We ruled out any of the things that happened on the other side. There’s certainly some inflammation. It’s actually kind of deep. I think Cam feels a lot better knowing that, when this subsides, and it already is, it will be to the point where he can do everything he wants, he’s not going to hurt himself. Already, you see a little different look in his eyes. That was really good news. He’s not going to play tonight. I don’t know if he’s going to play tomorrow. And when he does play, like we talked about before, we’ll keep an eye on him. But that was really encouraging news.”

As for ace Josh Beckett, he likely won’t even pick up a baseball again for at least 10 days. Beckett had thrown an abbreviated side session last Friday, but the club didn’t like the execution of his delivery, and they are determined to be conservative with his lower back strain.

“We’re going to slow him down a little bit,” said Francona. “By that, probably, I don’t know if we’re going to have a firm timetable, but probably about 10 days. What we talked about the other day in the bullpen, the inconsistencies in his delivery, all of a sudden, when he’s doing that, we’re running into some lat discomfort, which we’re not comfortable with. We lean on this guy too much, or we need to. So until we can completely get back where he’s going through his delivery, we’re going to make him take it easy. I think he understands it. I don’t think he probably loves it.

“I think he realizes this is where his best interest ends up probably being our best interest, so we’re going to be pretty firm about this. He can do a lot of things, but when we get him back out there throwing, we don’t want him making any adjustments to his delivery, to his arm slot, because that’s where we run into problems.”

Victor Martinez is on the bench despite going 5-for-5 last night with four doubles. The reason? He still is recovering from that badly bruised big left toe and the Red Sox need Martinez to catch Tim Wakefield in Thursday’s day game.

In other news, the Red Sox won the daily double when it came to the American League’s Player and PItcher of the Month. David Ortiz was Player of the Month and Jon Lester earned pitching honors.

Papi back home tonight — in three-hole

The combination of a short-handed Red Sox lineup tonight — no Ellsbury, no Drew, no Victor — has put David Ortiz back in his former home in the batting order, the three-hole. Ortiz didn’t know about the move until a flock of reporters informed him of it before the game.

Was he excited about it? “I’ll let you know after the game,” Ortiz chuckled.

During Ortiz’s slump of epic proportions early last season, manager Terry Francona took his slugger out of that spot, and this is the first time he’s been back there since May 24, 2009 against the Mets.

Ortiz has played 662 games and had 2,521 at-bats batting third, more than double his total of any other lineup slot. He has 177 of his 326 homers hitting third.

Meanwhile, a pretty big game for the Red Sox tonight if they can pull out a three-game sweep here against Garza and the Rays. Coming here 8 1/2 games back and leaving 5 1/2 back would be a significant leap.

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.

Papi at crossroads

The David Ortiz saga remains a hot topic, even after a 5-1 win over the Angels. Ortiz’s slump  extended with an 0-for-4 on Tuesday night that included two strikeouts and two double plays, the latter of which came with the bases loaded and nobody out in a tie game.

It is a tough situation for manager Terry Francona, particularly with Mike Lowell seemingly spraying line drives in every at-bat. Francona really would like Ortiz to get hot, but there’s a fine line with how long he can wait. The Red Sox, to a man, hope that Big Papi snaps out of it.

In the meantime, Jeremy Hermida stepped into the hero’s role tonight after Ortiz’s DP.

“It’s 25 guys, man. We met the other day,” Dustin Pedroia said. “We need everybody to win. This isn’t two or three guys that’s going to carry a team. We need everybody to help us win games. We have each other’s back, and we’re ready for the long haul. We started out [poorly], but we’re going to come out of it. We believe that.”

Pedroia — in his typically animated way — also expressed confidence that Ortiz will snap out of it.

“David’s fine. He’s one of our teammates,” Pedroia said. “It could have been me that hit into a double play. It happens to everybody, man. He’s had 60 at-bats. A couple of years ago, I had 60 at-bats I was hitting .170 and everybody was ready to kill me too. And what happened? Laser show.”

“I’m tired of looking at the NESN poll –  Why is David struggling? David’s fine. He’s one of our teammates. We believe in him. He came out of it last year, he’s going to come out of it this year. I’m going to go online and vote. NESN.com. Papi’s fine. Thanks for playing.”

Saturday night special — Ortiz goes deep

Just when things seemed to be getting to a low point again for David Ortiz — he didn’t look good in any of his at-bats on Friday night — the big man started tonight’s game by  belting a homer just over the wall in right in his first at-bat. The key for Ortiz will be trying to keep some momentum with one at-bat to the next.

For all the attention on Ortiz’s slump, the Red Sox really need Victor Martinez to get his bat going. The No. 3 hitter in Boston’s lineup, Martinez his hitting .238 with one homer and five RBIs.

Jeremy Hermida is out for tonight’s game with a sore left quad, so Darnell McDonald is starting in left and Jonathan Van Every is in center.

Things started in rocky fashion for Daisuke Matsuzaka. A walk, a throwing error on an attempted pickoff , and then an RBI single. But in typical Dice-K fashion, he settled down and got through the rest of the first unscathed.

Game 1 at Camden Yards

Beautiful night here at Camden Yards, which is easily in the top 3, if not the top 5 ballparks in all of baseball.

David Ortiz is looking forward to this weekend because he’s going to get a chance to play. The Orioles have 3 righty starters in a row. With lefty starters piling up against the Sox, Ortiz had started just seven of the last 14 games.

Will the regular at-bats have a positive impact on Ortiz?

“I hope so. It’s hard to get momentum when you’re not playing, I realize that,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “At the same time, who you have somewhat dictates what you do. Sometimes, if somebody says you’re being patient, maybe there’s a reason. Sometimes, it appears you’re impatient, maybe that’s not necessarily it.

“We’ve got Mikey Lowell sitting over there and that’s a good option. Professional at-bat. If they want to make a move, he’s a guy that could certainly face a righty. It’s not like he hasn’t. We’re just trying to win games. I certainly think early in the season you need to be patient. At the same time, we weren’t really having a lot of success. We’re trying to use common sense. Sometimes that’s not the easiest thing to do during the middle of a game. But we’ll try to do the best we can.”

The one thing the Red Sox have entering this series is a fresh Hideki Okajima. The lefty hasn’t pitched since Monday.

Saturday night at Fenway

What will David Ortiz do tonight to build off his home run from last night? Seemingly, not much. The slugger found himself on the bench for the third time in four games. The Red Sox have run into a string of lefties of late.

Victor Martinez is serving as the DH because tomorrow is a day game and they want him to catch Tim Wakefield.

Speaking of Wake, it should be a pretty good storyline with him pitching, and knowing it’s going to be his last start for a while. Wakefield has been a loyal soldier. You have to feel bad for him getting bounced from the rotation after just two bad starts. At the same time, you understand why the club no longer wants to stunt Clay Buchholz’s development.

The way baseball tends to work out, I’m thinking Wakefield will find his way back into the rotation at some point this season.

J.D. busts out

Quite a night last night at Fenway from start to finish. It had it all. Tonight? Mike Lowell put one over the Monster, J.D. Drew busted out of his slump with a grand slam and Darnell McDonald added to his instant cult hero status by going deep again. Meanwhile, two slumping players — David Ortiz and Victor Martinez — are on the bench.

Drew had one homer and two RBIs coming into tonight’s game. He couldn’t have picked a better time to break out, as Josh Beckett had dug the Sox a 4-1 hole after two innings.

Before the game, Drew’s slump was a topic of conversation with manager Terry Francona in the media briefing.

What had been bothering J.D.?

“Kind of like David,” Francona said. “He’s got his body out ahead of him. J.D’s got some of the best hitters hands you ever see but when their hands come forward, there’s not a lot left to do anything with the ball. It’s easy to say, ‘hey, drive the ball the other way.’ Sometimes you get in a rut where you don’t feel you can do that. That’s because sometimes your body is out ahead of everything.”

This time, J.D. waited for his pitch, got it and was rounding the bases with his fifth career grand slam.

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