A couple weeks ago, we were wondering when David Ortiz would be able to return to the lineup. Now we’re wondering when the opposition is going to get him out.
Though the Red Sox were unable to pull out a shootout against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, it wasn’t Ortiz’s fault. Big Papi put Boston on the board with a solo blast in the fourth inning, and he added a bases-clearing double in the seventh that, at the time, put his team ahead.
In nine games since returning from the disabled list, Big Papi is batting .500/.513/.917 with three home runs. He’s driven in 15 runs in nine contests. 15. In nine games.
Obviously, Ortiz isn’t going to continue going at this pace. However, his bat is red-hot and his heels don’t appear to be an issue at the moment. There were some, including myself, that had serious doubts about whether Big Papi would be able to stay healthy and produce. He appears to have emphatically answered one of those questions. In due time we'll have an answer to the other.
Not much went right for the Phillies in their 14-2 blowout loss to the Indians Tuesday.
After appearing to figure things out with three straight great outings, Roy Halladay was blasted for eight runs over 3 2/3 frames, serving up a trio of two-run homers. The bullpen wasn’t much better, as Chad Durbin and Raul Valdes each allowed a pair of homers, and Phillippe Aumont loaded the bases in the eighth before escaping.
There was one bright spot, though. After being surprisingly activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, Delmon Young lined an opposite-field solo homer in his first at-bat in a Phillies uniform. He then added a hit by pitch and a single, reaching base in three of four trips to the plate.
Young was in the designated hitter spot Tuesday, but he’s apparently ready to play the outfield, as manager Charlie Manuel expects to start him in right field on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see how much the Phils use him in the field right off the bat. Young has always been a terrible fielder, hasn’t played right field since 2007 and, most importantly, is coming off of microfracture surgery on his right ankle.
However, if he can stay healthy, you’ve got to think Young will be in there most nights. So who will sit out? The obvious answer is John Mayberry, who is batting just .242/.324/.470 this season. Of course, Domonic Brown (.233/.309/.372) and Ben Revere (.200/.234/.222) have hit even less than Mayberry. Manuel has indicated that Mayberry will still get his fair share of at-bats, particularly against left-handed pitching.
Teixeira Coming Along Slowly
The news is good with one of the Yankees’ rehabbing stars. For another one? Not so much.
Curtis Granderson (forearm) continues to take batting practice in extended spring training with no issues, and manager Joe Girardi told MLB.com that the outfielder is "pretty close" to full action. A rehab assignment is just around the corner for Granderson, with a return in mid-May looking likely.
Mark Teixeira (wrist), on the other hand, just isn’t progressing as quickly as hoped. The first baseman said right after Opening Day that he was shooting to return on May 1. Well, it’s May 1, and Teixeira isn’t even hitting off a tee yet. He’s been taking dry swings for nearly two weeks, but doctors have yet to give him the go-ahead to take the next step. Even a return by the end of the month looks to be pushing it at this point.
"He hasn't even started taking batting practice or hitting off a tee yet," Girardi said. "To me, [a May return] would be pretty rushed, in my mind."
Fantasy owners must also prepare for the possibility that Teixeira could eventually need surgery to repair the partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist. It’s the same injury that Jose Bautista dealt with last season, and Bautista eventually went under the knife.
National League Quick Hits: Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said that Stephen Strasburg's arm is "structurally perfect" and he's not expected to miss a turn in the rotation ... An MRI has revealed a Grade 2 strain of Giancarlo Stanton’s right hamstring. He will be sidelined for at least 3-4 weeks ... Assuming he doesn’t encounter any setbacks over the next couple days, Aramis Ramirez (knee) will be activated from the disabled list on Friday ... Edwin Jackson allowed eight runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Padres Tuesday, finishing April with a 6.27 ERA ... The Diamondbacks have signed Juan Rivera to a minor league contract ... Didi Gregorius has been cleared to return to baseball activities after passing all concussion tests. He could be back in the lineup on Saturday ... Matt Adams (oblique) will begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Springfield on Friday and should return next Tuesday ... Kevin Slowey tossed eight innings of one-run ball against the Mets Tuesday and now holds a 2.15 ERA and 1.01 WHIP for the season ... Ted Lilly has received an injection in his rib cage area and will not throw for two days before the Dodgers decide whether he’ll need a trip to the DL ... With their rotation depth suddenly lacking, the Dodgers signed Aaron Laffey to a minor league deal ... Mat Latos is nursing some tightness in his right hip but isn’t expected to miss a start ... Brian McCann (shoulder) expects to be activated from the disabled list on May 6 after finishing out a rehab assignment over the weekend ... Jason Motte (elbow) has progressed with his throwing program, but it’s unclear when he’ll try throwing from a mound ... Batting just .163/.255/.204, David Freese was benched Tuesday and could sit out a few games ... The Pirates have designated Jonathan Sanchez for assignment ... J.J. Putz blew his fourth save of the season on Tuesday ... Hyun-Jin Ryu struck out 12 batters in Tuesday's win over the Rockies ...
American League Quick Hits: Joel Hanrahan was activated from the disabled list Tuesday, but the Red Sox will keep Andrew Bailey in the closer role for now ... Kevin Youkilis landed on the DL Tuesday with a lumbar spine sprain. Looking to shore up their third base depth, the Yankees reportedly have expressed interest in the recently designated for assignment Chris Nelson ... Mike Moustakas went 2-for-3 with a home run Tuesday. He’s batting just .195 with five RBI for the season ... Edwin Encarnacion belted his eighth and ninth home runs in Tuesday’s win over the Red Sox ... Ryan Raburn went 3-for-4 with two home runs Tuesday, notching his second straight two-dinger game ... Zach McAllister allowed two runs in seven innings in a win over the Phillies Tuesday and now boasts a 3.30 ERA and 1.20 WHIP on the season ... The Red Sox will make a decision on Thursday whether or not to place Shane Victorino (back) on the disabled list ... Peter Bourjos was placed on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained left hamstring ... After allowing 32 hits and 16 runs in 23 2/3 innings this year for the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate, Randy Wells has announced his retirement from baseball ... Nick Swisher didn’t play Tuesday and could sit out again Wednesday due to a sore left shoulder ... A.J. Pierzynski sat out Tuesday because of a sore right oblique and might not be ready to play for a few days ... Nelson Cruz launched his sixth longball of the season in Tuesday’s win over the White Sox ...