With the Red Sox and David Ortiz expected to begin contract talks next week the 36-year-old designated hitter underwent ultrasound treatments on his injured Achilles’ tendon yesterday.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Ortiz will be in a walking boot for the next 7-10 days and will be sidelined for a total of 4-6 weeks.
That gives him plenty of time to get healthy by spring training, certainly, but between that and missing nearly the entire second half Ortiz isn’t exactly an ideal candidate for the multi-year contract he’s seeking.
“I did it just to make sure,” Ortiz said. “I talked to so many people that had it done, so I wanted to be sure. They said they were sore after doing it, but I wasn’t sore at all.”
Ortiz topped a 1.000 OPS for the first time since 2007, but also failed to play 100 games for the first time since 2001 and was in the lineup for just one of the Red Sox’s final 72 games.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.