FORT MYERS, Fla. — Now that it has become evident David Ortiz will start the season on the disabled list, how will the Red Sox handle the DH spot?
"Those conversations are starting," John Farrell said this morning. "We’re by no means at a point of saying this is who our DH is going to be or this is who else is going to be on the roster. But those conversations are happening more in earnest.
"We envision it as being a little bit of a rotation so not to say that one person would strictly be a DH. That’s an initial approach"
Farrell mentioned that the Red Sox are very pleased with how Mike Napoli looks at first base and don't believe there would be a major defensive benefit by using him as the DH and starting somebody else (Mike Carp, for instance) at first base.
It also doesn't seem that Napoli would benefit physically by being the DH. His hips have been fine since he started playing.
"Haven't seen that it's necessary," Farrell said. "If there wasn't as much advancement on the defensive side, then you might say say there's a different combination of players that will fill out this roster. I'm not excluding anyone that's in camp here. But he's made such strides defensively."
Farrell said the Sox have not pinpointed one player to replace Ortiz.
"We don’t have another David Ortiz," the manager said. "We’ll probably look at some matchups as we plan against a given starter on that day. ... You can keep guys a little more fresh."
Ortiz being out will change the look of the Red Sox bench. If the DH spot bounces around, the Sox will have to make sure they're adequately covered in terms of the outfield and first base.
"Until we settle on what the final roster will look like and who we’re going to go up against on a given day, that’s the approach we’re taking. But it’s going to keep more guys in the mix on a little more regular basis," Farrell said.
"We’ve got competition that’s going on in camp. My first view would be that who our DH is is going to open up a position elsewhere possibly and we’ve got three or four different options and combinations that we could fill that out with."