Is David Ortiz playing with an injury?

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David Ortiz strikeout.jpgJoe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that David Ortiz is telling friends that his left wrist is hurting. Remember, Ortiz missed nearly two months with a torn tendon sheath in the very same wrist during the 2008 season.

The 34-year-old is just 2-for-18 (.111) with nine strikeouts to kick off the new season. He was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts against the Royals on Sunday, leaving five men on base. There’s already plenty of chatter about when he’ll be forced to platoon with the right-handed hitting Mike Lowell.

Ortiz was asked about Christensen’s report upon his arrival to Target Field on Monday. Here’s his response, via John Tomase of the Boston Herald:

“Don’t pay attention to that crap,” Ortiz said. “I’m fine. If I’d have been raking they wouldn’t be saying that.”

We’ll have to give him the benefit of the doubt for now, but it’s time to really wonder how much of a leash he’ll be given this season.

Kendrys Morales pitched a scoreless inning Sunday

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Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.

Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.

Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.

On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.