David Ortiz

David Ortiz not keen about playing first base going forward

Rob Bradford
July 08, 2015 - 1:22 pm

While it sure sounds like the Red Sox would like to continue their integration of David Ortiz at first base, the 39 year old sounds less than enthusiastic about the proposition of making it a regular occurrence. Speaking prior with WEEI.com prior to the Red Sox' game with the Marlins Wednesday -- a game which has Ortiz starting at first base at Fenway Park for the second time this season -- the lefty hitter appeared luke warm on the idea manning first. "Hopefully not many," said Ortiz when asked how many games he could envision himself playing at first going forward. "To play defense you have to prepare yourself. I don'€™t know how this is going to go. I don'€™t know how this is going to play out. Tomorrow we have a day off and I agreed to play first base today. But if they plan on putting me out there more I have to sit down and talk to them about it because I don'€™t want to be playing out there, not being prepared to play out there, and now all of a sudden I end up getting injured and I lose it all. I have to sit down and talk to them to see what their plan is and go from there because I'€™m not a first baseman overall." With Ortiz playing first, Hanley Ramirez is allowed to slide into the designated hitter position where he enters Wednesday hitting .333 with five home runs and a 1.293 OPS in 30 plate appearances. It also presents the Red Sox' best defensive outfield, with Alejandro De Aza at left field, Mookie Betts in center field, and Shane Victorino manning right field. "With the off-days and Alejandro only getting defensive-replacement innings, I didn't want that," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I felt like he's certainly earned and has contributed when he's been on the field, and we wanted to get him at least four at-bats before the other off-day and we go into a weekend series where there's going to be another three righthanders thrown against us. Travis [Shaw], obviously a solid night last night, and looked very comfortable on the field in both places, but tomorrow's off-day gives us a chance for David to be back at first base." Ortiz didn't get a single put out in his start at first Sunday, having to field one ground ball. At the plate, he went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run. Shaw managed three hits playing first Tuesday night, with Mike Napoli still waiting to re-enter the lineup after time off to work on his swing. "I'€™ll get through today, but I don'€™t know," Ortiz said, who was asked to play first base by Farrell Tuesday night. "It'€™s surprising I'€™m playing first base again today. I don'€™t know what they'€™re thinking, but I'€™m going to discuss that with them at some point." "The focus with David at first is today only," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "The approach with that is more day-to-day in his availability."