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Would playing the field benefit Ortiz?

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  May 25, 2009 12:14 PM

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Mike Lowell is DHing today and while once in a while it's a welcome respite, Lowell said, "I would never want to do that full time because all you would is think about your at-bats."

Interesting point. Wonder if that's what David Ortiz is doing? Wonder if playing first base once in a while would make him take his mind off hitting and focus more on his fielding? After all, Ortiz is not a bad first baseman. He's proven to be decent in his interleague games there.

In any event, he wasn't in the lineup today. Terry Francona explained, "With a quick turnaround (a day game) we did a few different things. We're going to DH Mikey Lowell and not play him tomorrow and try to incorporate a little bit of rest because he's played a lot. We'll move Youk over (to third). We're trying to mix and match and keep guys strong. We'll have David out against this guy (Liriano) and bring him back tomorrow."

Francona spoke to Ortriz on the plane to Minneapolis last night as did bench coach Brad Mills.

"My talk with David was me and David," Francona said.

Asked by WBZ's Jonny Miller whether Ortiz has had his eyes checked, Francona said "Everybody's healthy and we're not going to run somebody out there that shouldn't be out there."

Minnesota reporters, who covered Ortiz here early in his career, asked Francona about Ortiz's struggles. He said, "he's been behind on the fastball and at times ahead on the breaking ball. He's not seeing the ball as good as he needs to see it. Normal hitters' woes."

The Sox have still not yet opted to bring in a new set of eyes to watch Ortiz's swing, feeling that hitting coach Dave Magadan has indentified the problem.

When asked yesterday if dropping Ortiz in the batting order might be in the offing, Magadan responded, “I think that’s something we’re going to discuss. We’ll probably talk about it on the flight [to Minnesota]. We want to do what’s best not only for David, but what’s best for the team.”

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