While the Red Sox were playing their home opener against the Orioles this afternoon, David Ortiz was testing himself with a simulated game in Fort Myers, Florida.
According to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com, Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a double and also ran the bases. It was his first action in a competitive setting since he was shut down with a right Achilles injury last August. And so far, so good.
The plan calls for Ortiz to play three games before he goes on an official minor league rehab assignment, likely with Triple-A Pawtucket. Barring any setbacks, the veteran slugger could be ready to join Boston’s lineup later this month.
Ortiz, 37, batted .318/.415/.611 with 23 home runs, 60 RBI and a 1.026 OPS in 90 games last season. He received a two-year, $26 million contract over the winter.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.