Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I’d like to be in a game tomorrow, no question,” Ortiz said yesterday after testing his right Achilles in agility drills under strength and condition coach Pat Sandora’s supervision. “Just being smart, trying not to rush it. I got another six weeks still. They want to make sure when I’m in, there’s no bounce-back, no setback.”
Ortiz, who missed the final two months of last season with a small tear in his Achilles, is taking batting practice and even fielding grounders at first base. But the 37-year-old slugger has yet to run the bases, likely the final hurdle before he’s cleared to play. Manager John Farrell said the club doesn’t have a timetable for when that will occur.
Although Ortiz’ injury didn’t necessitate offseason surgery, it required an extensive rehabilitation. And while he’s “very happy” with his progress, he still experiences soreness after lengthy workouts.
Herald - Ortiz taking time to get in games
I can't stress enough how uneasy this Ortiz situation is making me. Somewhere in the pit of my stomach I have a feeling that Papi is going to start the season on the DL. Hopefully I'm just paranoid.
Maybe I'm completely wrong and the Sox medical staff is simply babying the bajeezus out of Ortiz's achilles. Maybe he could start jogging around the bases with no ill effects (beyond some expected soreness). That's entirely possible.
They have him taking cuts in batting practice and even fielding some ground balls, so it's not as if his achilles is non-functional still. And, let's be honest: other than getting in a little better shape, it's not as if Papi has much to gain by practicing his work on the basepaths. He's still going to be slow and awkward rounding second. Taking a few practice turns won't ever change that.
In the piece by the Herald Ortiz does say that his tear is completely healed and the picture of his achilles looks like a "brand new achilles", so all of my fretting and hand-wringing may be a big waste of time. Still though, if my fears are legitimate, we're going to be sorting through the Lyle Overbay, Mike Carp, Mauro Gomez discount bin of batters to find someone to plug into our lineup. Just so you're prepared.
On Page 2, Larry Bird's impact on the Red Sox
Would the Celtics legend, who lives about an hour south of here in Naples, be at the workout?
Alas, no. Brian Butterfield, the ever-inventive third base coach and infield instructor, named one of his drills after Bird. It's a rundown drill that will feature Butterfield making over-the-shoulder and blind throws to the fielders to keep them on their toes.
This is just awesome. And sounds like fun.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Knuckleballer in Wright spot | Globe - For Red Sox’ Junichi Tazawa, second act is a success | Grapefruit League Game 1: Rays (ss) at Red Sox | WEEI - Pedro Martinez: Rubby De La Rosa has chance to be ‘someone special’ | John Farrell: Saturday ‘a significant day for’ John Lackey | CSNNE - Bobby V for A.D.