FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz feels more optimistic that heíll be in the Opening Day lineup after running the bases Monday and is feeling as if he can manage the soreness he expects to have.
ďIt feels good,Ē he said. ďWhen I get going Iím fine. The problem is once I cool off, I start to get sore, but the doctor says it will go away. Itís just part of the treatment, part of [when you] start doing things. The injury, you got to start getting used to. Thatís why we practice over and over and over and over. So you can get to that point. ... Itís a good day. I was moving pretty good. I donít think I can run faster than that. Letís just see how things go later on tonight.Ē
Ortiz feels he needs to get between 50-60 at-bats between now and the start of the season and thinks he can do that by a combination of major league and minor league games.
ďI want to play way before that. Yeah, thatís why I was doing all this stuff so Iím good to go for Opening Day," he said. "But the main goal right now is make sure I get to play down here. Because if I play down there that means Iím good to go.Ē
As for the soreness which kept him from running Sunday, ďWell itís pretty much, itís all around the same area, but different spot, which is good because that tells you that you had before is already recovered. So itís probably just getting used to it.
"I was running like I wasnít worried about anything," he continued. "Thatís important. I ran today better than what I did the last time I ran. So everybody was pretty happy about it. Iím happy about it, because nothing bothers me when I was running and thatís a plus. That is telling me that Iím going in the right direction."
Ortiz was asked about whether he could run Tuesday and he said, ďThey donít want to wear me out either now. Because definitely the more you run the more stress you put on the joints. So thatís why today I ran like 120 yards, tomorrow they might cut me down to 60. It all depends on how I feel. But the following day, itís my goal for another 160. It all depends. So itís been a slow process but weíre happy the way things are going. And hopefully continue that. Iím pretty sure theyíre going to continue that because I see myself improving every time we do this, more and more. The smart part about it is try not to rush it because game action is different. You might go one direction and have to turn back.Ē
Structurally, Ortiz said his Achilles is fine. He never suffered the rupture or tear that Ryan Howard did.
ďMy Achilles is fine. Itís back to normal," he said. "So what Iím dealing right now with is some calcification down there. It seems like itís going away because otherwise I wouldnít be able to move like I just did. So thatís good,."