After the month of April who would have guessed this line would belong too? Normally, maybe him:
That would have been a good guess, but he only has played 2 games this April. Plus, he is normally not know for power.
How about this fella:
Again, not a bad guess. He has had several 20 homer seasons, but it is not him. He’s had a decent start, going deep 4 times so far.
Would you be surprised to find out that those numbers belong to:
Probably not, if you have been following the Red Sox closely this season. This is the big news with the Red Sox. When Nick Green has more HRs and a higher slugging percentage than David Ortiz over the first 22 games, then something is the matter.
What is WRONG with Big Papi?
- Past his prime, good years are behind him.
- Lack of protection in the order; missing Manny behind him.
- Wrist still hurts.
- All of the above.
- Nothing, give the guy a break!
I don’t know the answer myself, but I can say it is not from lack of protection in the order. People who think because Manny is no longer batting behind Ortiz that this is the reason are sort of clueless. I mean Ortiz is hitting between the 2008 MVP and the 3rd Place finisher for 2008 MVP! Anybody else have protection like that in MLB?
This is the first time since Ortiz joined the Red Sox that he has not at least 1 HR in a month where he has not been injured.
Dating back to last season, Big Papi has now gone 25 games (in which he as gotten at least 1 AB) with out a HR. That is the longest cold streak since he came to Boston.
He has had two 19 game homerless streaks, 1 occured last season and the other occured in 2007.
So, what is the problem? Will he ever get out of this funk? Will he be the Papi of 2004 – 2006? So many questions, so little answers.
I think the problem is in Papi’s head. I recall hear him complain about lack of protection (isn’t that a bit insulting to Kevin Youkilis) in the batting order. However, Sean McAdams (I believe) has stated numerous times that the two seasons Manny packed it in during September, Ortiz had the best OPS (this coming from listening to talk radio, I haven’t research these numbers myself) during the month of September. So he wasn’t missing Manny then.
However, now that Ortiz doesn’t have it in the back of his head that Manny will be back, I think he is using it as an excuse (for a lack of a better term) when it is more of a combination that Ortiz may be thinking too much and having some erosion of his skills. Ortiz also mentioned a while back that he isn’t getting any fastballs to hit. I seem to recall plenty of fastballs in the mid to upper 80s that he is not catching up to.
Hopefully, it is more of a mental funk than a physical / skill erosion problem. The Red Sox are going to NEED Ortiz, especially when Youkilis, Bay, and Lowell cools down from their hot starts.
C’mon Big Papi, work it out.
P.S. This could have been about Josh Beckett too. Since the Abreu incident, Beckett has not been himself.