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BALTIMORE — There was a uniform hanging in his locker during spring training. But David Ortiz rarely had reason to put it on.
As his Red Sox teammates went through the rituals of preparing for the season, Ortiz would retire to the trainer’s room for therapy on his sore right Achilles’ tendon. When he did venture outside, his workouts consisted only of batting practice and running drills performed with great caution.
Ortiz never played an exhibition game and started the season on the disabled list. Manager John Farrell frequently cautioned that Ortiz would need regular days off when he returned to manage the injury.
Six months later, the Red Sox have three games left to play in the regular season, starting Friday night against the Orioles, and Ortiz is third on the team with 590 plate appearances. Since he was activated off the disabled list April 20, Ortiz has played in all but nine games.