After being dropped in John Farrell’s batting order earlier this week, the struggling David Ortiz will now get a couple of days off to work on his swing. According to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, the veteran slugger is also dealing with a case of the flu.
The 39-year-old Ortiz has just one hit in his last 20 at-bats and is batting an uncharacteristic .216/.303/.377 with six home runs and 18 RBI across his first 43 games this season. His strikeout rate is up only slightly from last year, but his hard-hit rate is down and he’s hitting more ground balls than at any point of his career. With the way teams shift him, it’s not surprising that his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) sits at just .227 right now.
Hanley Ramirez is expected to fill in at designated hitter for the next couple of days while Ortiz works on things.
The Indians just announced that first baseman Carlos Santana has been placed on the paternity leave list. His daughter was born this morning, so he’ll take some time to enjoy the new little one before rejoining the team. Players are permitted to be on the paternity leave list for 24-72 hours.
Jerry Sands, who played well in a stint with the Indians earlier this season, will take his spot on the active roster for now.
Santana is batting just .221 through 42 games so far this season, but he has six home runs and leads the majors with 37 walks, giving him a .374 on-base percentage and a .756 OPS.
The Braves scratched infielder Alberto Callaspo from tonight’s lineup against the Dodgers and now we have an explanation on the reason for the last-minute change:
Chris Johnson has been rehabbing a left hand injury and is expected to come off the disabled list later this week, so Bowman speculated earlier tonight that Callaspo’s days with the Braves were likely coming to an end. That Gonzalez is talking about it so openly means it’s inevitable, whether we’re talking about a trade or him being designated for assignment.
Callaspo signed a one-year, $3 million contract with Atlanta over the winter, but he showed up to spring training out of shape and has struggled as a part-time player this season. The 32-year-old is batting just .206 with one home run and a .545 OPS over 123 plate appearances. He has just three hits in his last 28 at-bats. He struggled last season as well, so it’s hard to see much of a market for him right now unless the Braves eat the great majority of his contract.