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Ortiz not concerned with spring training stats

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 20, 2014 05:09 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. David Ortiz is 2 for 30 in spring training with 10 strikeouts and is hitless in 15 consecutive at-bats dating to March 10.

But Big Papi isn't too concerned.

"I'm swinging fine. I'll be ready," he said this afternoon.

Ortiz didn't get a single at-bat in spring training last season as he recovered from an Achilles' tendon injury. He was then 4 for 18 in six Triple A games before hitting .440 (22 of 50) with 12 extra-base hits and 17 RBIs in his first 13 major league games en route to one of the best seasons of his career.

Sox manager John Farrell isn't worried about his designated hitter.

"I'm not concerned with David, what he's done through 30 at-bats," he said. "You watch the BP, the bat speed is clearly there, the power is there. He's seeing pitches. He's going to get more everyday at-bats starting on Sunday through the remainder of camp. I have no concern with David."

Also:

The Red Sox optioned infielder Brock Holt and righthander Rubby De La Rosa to Triple A Pawtucket and reassigned infielder Brandon Snyder to minor league camp.

De La Rosa will be used as as starter with Pawtucket. He was limited to 91.2 innings last season as part of his recovery from Tommy John surgery but the restrictions have been lifted.

Farrell said the Red Sox have adjusted the position of De La Rosa's hands in his delivery and encouraged him to throw more curveballs to increase the variety of his pitches. "We feel like those two adjustments will help him not only command his fastball better but give him some more off-speed to attack a given hitter with," the manager said.

"With Rubby it's not a matter of stuff. It's a matter of more consistent location."

Koji Uehara (30 pitches) and Junichi Tazawa (22 pitches) threw live batting practice earlier today instead of simply throwing in the bullpen. A.J. Pierzynski stepped in to take a few swings. "A little bit more of an intense work day," Farrell said.

David Ross will take some extra at-bats on Friday in a minor league game. "We're making the most of the opportunities on the other side," Farrell said.

The Phillies will not allow the Red Sox to use a DH on Friday, so Jon Lester will bat ninth.

Pierzynski, Will Middlebrooks, Ryan Lavarnway, Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp, and Jackie Bradley are among those making the trip.

The Sox play in Clearwater on Friday and Orlando on Saturday. A group of backup players and coaches will stay overnight on Friday.

Lefty reliever Craig Breslow will throw live batting practice on Friday and get in his first game on Monday.

Grady Sizemore is playing tonight and will be off on Friday. He will play in a minor league game on Saturday before starting on Sunday and Monday.

Farrell hasn't officially announced the rotation to open the season yet, just in case something happens. But how the starters are lined up Lester, John Lackey, Felix Doubront, Jake Peavy, and Clay Buchholz is how it will stay for the regular season.

Jacoby Ellsbury remains out of the Yankees lineup with right calf tightness. He has not played since last Friday. The Yankees gave him an MRI, which was negative.

Ellsbury was supposed to take batting practice in Tampa today but was held out to get the MRI.

"I'm sure he'll take BP tomorrow. We just wanted to make sure he was OK," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

It hasn't been determined when Ellsbury will return.

"We want to get him out there and get ready for the season. As soon as we can get him out there we'll get him out there," Girardi said. "I don't think he needs that many [games]. If he gets three or four that's enough. We can accelerate with games in the minors. Whatever we think is best, we'll do."

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