- Joe McDonald, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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With Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz now on the 15-day disabled list with a right Achilles strain, his teammates realize they'll have to pick up the slack until the slugger returns to the lineup.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said during Wednesday's pregame news conference that Ortiz would be out "a week to 10 days" before he's able to return to the lineup. But Ortiz's DL status means he'll be out until at least Aug. 1.
"He's been our best hitter, our MVP so far this year and he's carried us the whole first half," Gonzalez said. "It's going to take a team effort to make up for his loss."
Ortiz had an MRI on Tuesday in Boston and traveled to Miami on Wednesday for a second opinion before the decision was made to put him on the DL.
"Obviously, David's our All-Star and he's been the biggest hitter in the lineup and the biggest force," Red Sox infielder Nick Punto said. "It's a big hit, but we've been taking hits all season long and we have to survive it. The mood in this clubhouse is we have to survive it because we've dealt with injuries all season long.
"To be where we want to be in October, we need to get through it. We have moving parts and guys who will fill in that role, but they're definitely big shoes to fill."
The injury couldn't have happened at a worse time for the Red Sox, given that Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury recently returned to the lineup. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (thumb) also is set to be activated from the DL on Thursday.
"We were really excited to have Jacoby back and Carl, and we had that one night (Monday) where we had our lineup almost fully in tact without (Pedroia), and then you take a hit like that," Punto said. "We'll get to full strength and when we do, we have a really good team.
"Hopefully, we just get hot at the right time. All great teams get hot and win a lot of games in a row. We haven't done that yet, but this team has that it in them and when we get to that point, we'll be in good shape."
Ortiz leads the Red Sox in batting average (.316), home runs (23), RBIs (58), runs (65) and walks (56) in 89 games this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the only player in the majors leading his team outright in all five categories.
"We're definitely going to miss him, even though he's only on the 15-day DL," Crawford said. "It's a big disappointment for us, and we're definitely going to miss him."