Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has not appeared in a Grapefruit League game yet this spring because of lingering concerns about the strength of his right Achilles’ tendon. But things are looking up.
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Ortiz ran the bases Tuesday afternoon in Red Sox camp for a second consecutive day. Abraham says Ortiz did the running with “less duration and intensity” than his Monday workout, but the 37-year-old reported feeling fine during and after, and is on track to begin playing in spring games within the next week or so.
Ortiz appeared in just one game after July 16 last season because of the right heel discomfort, but he still managed to hit .318/.415/.611 with 23 home runs and 60 RBI. He underwent platelet-rich plasma treatment for the injury in September.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.
It’s been a tough season for the mythology of Jonny Gomes‘ veteran clubhouse savior reputation.
First he signed with the rebuilding Braves and performed poorly while Atlanta fell apart after a surprisingly decent start. Then he was traded to the Royals, for whom he played just 12 games and hit .167. And now Kansas City has left Gomes off the ALDS roster.
It makes sense, though. Gomes’ only real use to the Royals would be as a pinch-hitter versus left-handed pitching, but manager Ned Yost rarely pinch-hits and will no doubt be more willing to use 25th man Terrance Gore as a pinch-runner in the late innings.
Beyond that, not many surprises on the Royals’ roster for their series against the Astros. They went with 11 pitchers, which means both Chris Young and Kris Medlen are on the roster. Jeremy Guthrie is not.