Ortiz back on basepaths, hopes to be ready for Opening Day

Ortiz back on basepaths, hopes to be ready for Opening Day
March 4, 2013, 2:30 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fl. -- David Ortiz resumed his running program Monday, a step toward getting into a game, and, the Red Sox hope, being ready for Opening Day.

On a back field before the Sox hosted the Rays, Ortiz took several runs from home to first, home to second, first to third, and second to home. He had been scheduled for baserunnng drills on Sunday, but that was cancelled when he felt some soreness in the area of his Achilles injury that cut short his 2012 season.

Ortiz was satisfied with his running drills on Monday.

“It feels good,” he said, immediately following the drills. “When I get going, I’m fine. The problem is once I cool off, start to get sore. But the doctor say it will go away. It’s just part of the treatment, part of [when you] start doing things. The injury, you got to start getting used to. That’s why we practice over and over and over and over. So you can get to that point . . . it’s a good day. I was moving pretty good. I don’t think I can run faster than that. Let’s just see how things go later on tonight.”

Ortiz is scheduled to run again on Tuesday. That will be dependent upon how he feels tomorrow. Manager John Farrell said over the weekend that one of the hurdles to Ortiz getting into a game would be for him to do base running drills on consecutive days – something he has yet to do.

Ortiz said he was not hesitant while running the bases Monday.

“No, actually I was running  like I wasn’t worried about anything,” he said. “That’s important. I ran today better than what I did the last time I ran. So everybody was pretty happy about it. I’m happy about it, because nothing bothers me when I was running and that’s a plus. That is telling me that I’m going in the right direction.”

He is hopeful he will be ready for Opening Day.

“Yeah, that’s my goal,” he said. “I wish I could start playing no later than a week so I can catch up with the whole time that I haven’t played, because this game is all about timing . . . what really dictates you you’re going to feel for the season is facing pitching, regardless. So I want to be able to see if I can get at least 50, 60 at-bats before we break camp.”

It has been a frustrating process for Ortiz, who appeared in just 90 games last season, his lowest total since 89 in 2001.  Ortiz, who hit .318, with 23 home runs, and 60 RBI, appeared in just one game after July 16, a brief comeback attempt on Aug. 24 when he went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two strikeouts.

In the offseason, he talked with several people who have had Achilles injuries.

“I take basketball players for dinner, soccer player, guys that play in the street," he said. "Just to get info about it."

The process of coming back has been a difficult one.

“A lot,” he said of his frustration level. “I haven’t played since when, the two at-bats I got back in August the one game I played. I was out for what like a month before that. It’s something that you get in your head a little bit. I’m not going to lie to you. December, January I was very uncomfortable with the way I was feeling. But I’m not a doctor. I’m just a patient. And doctors have more patience than what you have as a patient. So everything pretty much been moving forward with the things they tell. Which is fine. That’s why I’ve been able to control my emotions. But I can’t wait to be in the action.”