Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Red Sox place Ortiz on the 15-day DL

After hurting his wrist on a swing against the Orioles on Saturday, David Ortiz was placed on the 15-day disabled list today after an MRI on Monday revealed a partially torn tendon in Ortiz's left wrist. The injury also may be serious enough to threaten the rest of the season for Ortiz.

The Red Sox brought up Justin Masterson from Triple-A, but he's probably only going to make a spot-start today against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Obviously losing Ortiz's presence in the third spot in the lineup is huge. The Red Sox have a few options to consider on how to deal with the temporary or long-term loss.

1) No significant moves. The Red Sox are currently second in the AL in runs scored (302), first in batting average (.283), and first in on base percentage (.358). Obviously Ortiz helped the Red Sox reach those numbers, but they still have plenty of talented hitters who have helped them achieve those solid stats. The Red Sox can do what they did in the game last night and DH Manny Ramirez and have Jacoby Ellsbury play left field, Coco Crisp in center, and Drew in right. Manager Terry Francona placed Kevin Youkilis in the third slot, which isn't really a bad option considering how he's playing. With Ramirez as the DH, the Red Sox gain better outfield defense but certainly lose a big left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup.

2) Play Sean Casey more. The Red Sox have 1B Casey on their bench, and he can probably fill in at the DH spot when Francona wants to have Ramirez in left field or when the Red Sox face a right-handed pitcher. Casey doesn't have much power, which means he may not be placed in the middle of the lineup, but he's a solid contact hitter who is a more than reliable option as a replacement.

3) Promote someone from the minors. OF prospect Chris Carter is hitting .310 at Triple-A Pawtucket and has 10 HRs and 35 RBIs. He is also left-handed.

4) Make a trade. The Red Sox have a deep farm system, so if they wanted to go out and trade for a left-handed power hitter, they could. Again, they'd probably only do this if they lost Ortiz for the rest of the season. Ken Griffey, Jr? Adam Dunn? Jay Payton? (O's fans wish)

5) Sign Barry Bonds. Sounds crazy, right? Well, some Red Sox fans are already suggesting Bonds as a possible option. Through everything the Red Sox have done over the last few years, moves like this one have been avoided at all costs. The signing of Bonds would surely be a complete distraction, which is probably something the Red Sox want to stay away from.

The Red Sox will probably choose a combination of 1, 2, and 3 as long as Ortiz is scheduled to come back. But if he's lost for the season, don't be surpised if Theo Epstein tries to make a big move.

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