Wednesday’s the day, according to the Boston Herald’s John Tomase.
With John Lackey on the mound, the Red Sox intend to start David Ortiz at first base and Adrian Gonzalez in the outfield in Wednesday’s game against the Phillies.
Tomase didn’t say which outfield position Gonzalez would play. Left field would make more sense, given the Phillies’ reliance on left-handed hitters.
There’s really no chance the Red Sox would be trying this if their schedule didn’t have them playing nine straight games in NL parks. A week and a half is just too long to have to limit Ortiz to pinch-hitting appearances. The alignment switch Wednesday is as much about keeping him sharp as it is about trying to win a baseball game.
Because it’s pretty hard to imagine that the Red Sox are really better off taking such big defensive downgrades at two positions in order to make room for Ortiz.
Anyway, it should be entertaining. Just in case there wasn’t already enough reason to watch what are arguably the two best teams in baseball face off.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.