Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: August 28, 6:35 PM ET
David Ortiz sent back to DL
By Tony Lee
Special to ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox on Monday put ailing designated hitter David Ortiz back on the disabled list with a right Achilles strain, but the slugger has yet to close the door on a potential return later this season.
Ortiz will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection in the area of the strain, something he says works 60 to 70 percent of the time.
After the injection, the team will determine whether the 36-year-old slugger will be able to play again this season. Ortiz received similar treatment after knee surgery in November 2007 and he marveled at its healing powers.
"I had it done before and I believe in that big time," he said. "We didn't get it done [earlier] because we thought that wasn't needed in my case, but at this stage, at this point, seems like I gotta get through it. When I heard them talking about it this morning it made me happy."
Ortiz is not only feeling positive about the injection, but is confident he will not need any surgery in the offseason and will "definitely" be fully healthy going forward. It's simply a matter of healing and knowing when to pull back, which he and the team elected to do Monday.
"There's nothing that I need to have fixed for now," he said. "That's part of the reason I want to be careful with it because I don't want to get to the point where I'm playing sore. If you're sore you know that your body is telling you something. And if you continue [to play hurt] then it causes you to have surgery."
The eight-time All-Star will have shockwave therapy after the season ends. That procedure was a consideration in recent days but the recovery period runs about four or five weeks, essentially the rest of the season. Ortiz wanted to take every step to return in 2012.
Ortiz missed 35 games after he was placed on the DL on July 17 with the injury. The Red Sox went 13-22 during his absence. He was activated on Friday and went 2 for 4, including a first-inning double and two RBIs against Kansas City, but felt soreness after the double and did not play Saturday night or Sunday.
Before his injury, Ortiz was having his best season in years, hitting .318 with 23 home runs, 60 RBIs and a 1.026 OPS. The impressive production spurred talk that the organization will pursue a new deal with Ortiz once the current one-year contract expires. ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes reported earlier in the week that the team does indeed want Ortiz back.
Ortiz reiterated his desire to stay in Boston.
"This is what I know. This is something that I want to be part of," he said.
The slugger said that his time on the sidelines has made it difficult to gauge the fan's reaction to the blockbuster trade with Los Angeles on Saturday. However, he reinforced his desire to come back by discussing the trade and grouping himself with the plan going forward.
"I think what happened in the trade, it's a 50/50 situation where the team, like our GM said, we've had the past couple of years where we didn't have what we were looking for, which was winning," Ortiz added. "We've got good players but it wasn't able to get to the point where we wanted it to be. [We have] some money and can get some good players. If it's going to be like that we don't know yet. We've got to wait until next year to see, the players we brought in and how we perform.
"I think the fans want to see some change. We've gotten, I think that's what our front office, GM, owner are trying to put together. A ball club that can compete. ... A ball club that the fans can enjoy. Past couple of years that hasn't been the case. Why not try when you have the opportunity to?"
The injection will take place "in the next couple of days," Ortiz said. He will then wait a day or so before flying to the West Coast to meet up with his teammates.
Ortiz's placement on the DL is retroactive to Friday. Outfielder Ryan Kalish was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take his place on the roster.
The team also activated right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka to start the series finale against the Royals, sending reliever Pedro Beato to Pawtucket.
Tony Lee is a regular contributor for ESPNBoston.com.