Skip to main content

The Papi Problem

The Sox obviously face a serious dilemma in the person designated hitter David Ortiz.

My feeling is that Ortiz is still physically and mentally capable of hitting well - not great, but well. That said, it might still be time for Papi. He might be done.

The Sox should lower Papi in the order (done) and let him play most every day in June. If by the end of the month - or before if the Sox free fall because of an anemic offense - Papi is still not hitting, then the Sox need to give one month to the internal-organizational solutions available.

To be fair to a possible replacement, the Sox should let him (or them) have a month before the July trading deadline to establish themselves. If that does not work, the Sox should look for a trade of some value (best option for me would be trading a high-value prospect for one and a half years of Adam Dunn).

As for Papi, we all obviously love the guy and want him to succeed. And I for one still think he can. But I'm not sure I think he will.

Watching his swing, Papi seems to be letting the fastball get too deep on him. He's not out front, jumping on fastballs. Also, his follow through extension is not high and pronounced like the old days. That said, he's bringing his hands in and through the zone well recently, hitting a few fastballs very hard against the Jays and Tigers.

If by July 1, Papi is not hitting at all still, they go to plan B. And by the way, he will simply not get hot enough to raise his numbers to anything respectable after going more than 200 at bats as simply terrible. That is, at the end of the month we should look at the one month split. If that's better than the alternatives, keep him in the line up batting 6th or 7th.

If he flounders through June, Papi should be put on the DL somehow. They should give one month to Chris Carter. He can hit and can't field. He's a lefty and, against lefties, this scenario would give DH at bats to Rocco B. and Lowell.

After that July expariment, as we close in on the trading deadline, the Sox will have three choices: keep Carter (or Bailey) as the DH, bring back Papi for one last shot, or look at a major trade.

Let's hope Papi can come around. I'm still saying there's a chance.


P.S. Mark Kotsay, a good back-up outfielder and first baseman, and a lucky man, is a terrible option here, despite what Toni Massarotti seems to think. First, he has no pop and doesn't even hit for that good an average. Second, when you DH him you lose him as a back-up outfield option and rely on Rocco, which we have quickly learned is sadly not a reliable reliance (though in this hypothetical, Papi's roster spot would presumably be filled by another outfielder). I prefer Papi right now over Kotsay as DH.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hanley Exits Stage Right

Hanley Ramirez has been released by the Red Sox.  With Pedey coming back, this had occurred to me as an option but a very unlikely one.  It seemed like having three catchers was a luxury they couldn't afford, or they'd send Brock Holt down temporarily or put Nunez on the DL just because he really is always injured so why not.

In the end though, they realized keeping Hanley didn't make sense.  If he came out of his slump, you're likely going to get stuck with him for next year or have a conflict with him and the fans when you bench a productive player.  But it was more likely he'd have good moments but never be all that good.  He's been terrible for about 3 weeks now.  Cutting bait with Hanley means you have more money for next year (Kimbrel & Mookie perhaps), you don't have the headache of however he's going to act if/when you bench him, and you keep other options on your roster.  As for the money, you're already spending it either way so don…

JD Martinez and Red Sox Depth

The Sox have signed JD Martinez; so, that's good.  His track record, personal reports on work ethic and attitude (aka lessons learns from Panda mania), and the fact that he's seen most of his success in the American League point to this being as sure a success as you can have in free agency.  He is getting a hefty pay check while the Sox aren't locked down for 6, 7 or Hosmer years.

Taking as a given that Martinez will be an outstanding hitter in the middle of the lineup, this signing - along with the signing of Eduardo Nunez earlier in the weekend - gives this Red Sox offense the most depth they have had since the 2013 champions.  That team taught us that it makes good baseball sense to go a few players deep at each position if you can, and to not obsess with how you'll find at bats for everyone.  Here we go again with that approach.

The 2018 Red Sox are remarkably deep and flexible.  When someone gets hurt, the likelihood is that that player will be replaced in the l…

Opening Day & Possible Unlikely 2018 Contributors & Breakthroughs

It's opening day and the Sox are playing the Rays.  While the beauty of baseball is that any team can beat any other team on any given day, the Sox should - and need to - dominate the Rays this season.  The Rays are going to try a 4 man rotation (a very good idea btw with the way the game is trending) - but then they lost one of those four.  Rumor is that they are close to signing Charlie Hough.  Their best player is Kevin Kiermaier whose very solid, but essentially their best player is Jackie Bradley, Jr.  Even if Wilson Ramos returns to All Star form and C.J. Cron finally becomes decent, this will be a pretty bad team.  They'll get a jolt when star SS prospect Willy Adames arrives but otherwise the Sox need to feast on the Rays this year if they hope to win the division.

The Sox opening day lineup meanwhile has a couple of sorta-surprises from where we started spring.  Hanley is starting at 1B over Mitch Moreland despite a righty starter, and Christian Vazquez is catching Chr…