Ortiz to begin rehab assignment in Pawtucket
April 10, 2013, 6:00 pm
BOSTON -- David Ortiz will begin a rehab assignment with Pawtucket on Thursday night. Ortiz missed all of spring training with a heel injury, but recently completed some action in extended spring training games.
"His return date to us is still uncertain at this point,'' said manager John Farrell. "That's going to depend on David and how comfortable he feels in the box and his timing, but we would assume somewhere in the 20-30 at-bat range would be expected.
"But more than anything, the last four or five days, he seemingly has turned the corner with more aggressive running the bases, the way he feels at the plate. He's in a pretty good place, all things considered.''
Farrell was asked if the Sox were might have Ortiz back in their lineup when they return from a three-game road series in Cleveland.
"That's hopeful, yes,'' he said.
"We hope at some point in that week, later in that week,'' echoed general manager Ben Cherington. "We'll talk to him each day after he plays and see how he's feeling. He knows his swing. At this point, that's what it's about. It's about at-bats and timing and feeling good at the plate. He knows where he is better than any of us do, so we'll read off him.''
The Sox have scored 39 runs in seven games -- and average of 5.5 per contest -- and have survived without Ortiz.
"I think we've gotten production from a lot of different spots,'' said Cherington, "maybe from some that we weren't expecting to get as much out of and that's what you need when you're missing a guy like David, a force in the middle of the lineup, and that's happened.
"But certainly, we're a better lineup when he's in the middle of it. It makes it harder to pitch through the middle of that lineup. It makes the guys behind him maybe see some different pitches. Our lineup's always better when he's in it and we're looking forward to that happening soon.''