St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) hits a single in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 703. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
David Ortiz received the rumored "alternate treatment" for his aching Achilles on Monday, when he received a Novacaine-esque injection to the afflicted area. The nearly immediate result was Ortiz participating in batting practice -- and successfully -- prior to Tuesday's game against the Rangers at Fenway. The real test will come Wednesday, though, as Ortiz will undergo a full day of activity in order to see how his Achilles will react.
Assuming that things go well, and Ortiz doesn't feel pain in his ankle, then it's projected he'll be able to return to Boston's lineup by the end of the upcoming series against the Cleveland Indians, which starts Thursday and concludes Sunday in Cleveland. Ortiz doesn't think he'll need a rehab assignment, and given how poorly replacement designated hitters have done in Ortiz's place, it's likely Boston won't lose much by letting him get his timing back while in the big leagues rather than at Pawtucket.
Boston could use Ortiz back in the lineup, as they've scored just 4.4 runs per game without him during his 21-game absence, after plating five runs per contest in the 90 games prior. They're once again under .500, and sit 4-1/2 games back of a wild card spot. With just 51 games to go, the sooner Ortiz is back and healthy, the better for Boston.