BOSTON David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox watches his hit in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Ortiz's hit was ruled a home run after review of the play. Victor Martinez of the Red Sox also scored on the play. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
David Ortiz was reportedly seeking "alternative treatment" for his Achilles injury, a statement that, when translated, really meant "not cortisone." On Monday, Ortiz was injected with what manager Bobby Valentine referred to as a Novacaine-esque pain-killer. This did as its name suggests, and Ortiz immediately felt better, but he's now going to have to rest for a few days to see if this fixes the issue more than temporarily.
Ortiz has missed 20 games after he was pulled from a July 16 contest, following an incident rounding the bases on an Adrian Gonzalez homer that resulted in his Achilles injury. Ortiz is still leading the American League in both slugging (.609) and OPS (1024). This wouldn't be his first season with an OPS over the 1000 mark, but his last came in 2007, at age 31, the third of a three-year stretch in which his OPS was at least that high. Ortiz's current OPS+ is better than any of his other 15 seasons, save that 2007 campaign.
His resurgence has been cut short by this Achilles problem, though, as has Boston's. Red Sox designated hitters have compiled a .276/.309/.355 line in his absence -- it's not only well short of Ortiz's season line, but also well below even league-average for the position (.260/.333/.436). At a time when Adrian Gonzalez is nearly single-handedly carrying the offense, Ortiz's production is sorely missed: the Red Sox have gone just 9-11 in his absence. His injury is one of the primary reasons the Red Sox haven't been able to take advantage of the returns of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford just yet, and it's costing them in the standings.