[Ortiz's] .219 batting average, .308 on-base percentage and .408 slugging percentage [now .218/.305/.399]— which projects to be the worst full season of his career — would be inadequate for a middle infielder, but they're absolutely crippling from a designated hitter. His brief hot stretch in June has been long forgotten; Ortiz has just a [.204/.265/.344] line since the All-Star break.With 48 games remaining in the season, the Red Sox are in serious danger of falling out of contention in the East and will be fighting to the final weekend for the wild card spot. Now is the time for Theo Epstein to make the difficult decision and for Playoff Tito to take up permanent residence in the Boston dugout.
Ortiz brings negative baserunning value, and batting him in the middle of the lineup is just providing an escape hatch for opposing pitchers. ... The only qualification to be a DH is to hit, and Ortiz doesn't seem to be able to do that any longer. ...
The Sox can no longer afford to experiment with various alignments or wait for Big Papi to come around. As the decision to designate 42-year-old righthander John Smoltz for assignment last week shows, this is no time for sentiment. With the additions of Martinez and Kotchman, Ortiz is no longer qualified to be in the Red Sox lineup.
Ortiz was next-to-worthless in the first two months of the season -- and he's even worse now. In 49 plate appearances in August, he is hitting .114/.204/.136.
His OBP by month:
Boston's best infield has Kevin Youkilis at third and Casey Kotchman at first. That means Lowell, Ortiz and Victor Martinez would be the possible choices at DH.April .290
If you covered up the names and looked at those numbers -- i.e., removing sentiment from the equation -- it would be next to impossible to justify ever playing the weaker hitter if the stronger ones were available.Against LHP
But if Francona is going to keep penciling Ortiz into the lineup, in the hopes that maybe today is the day a hot streak begins, he must bat him no higher than 7th.