Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine mentioned earlier this afternoon that David Ortiz could be activated from the disabled list as soon as this weekend against the Twins, but odds are that’s not going to happen.
According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Ortiz did some light jogging while the Red Sox were taking batting practice this afternoon and estimated that his strained right Achilles tendon is at about “50-60 percent.” He added that he likely won’t do “power running” for another few days, which essentially rules out the chance that he’ll return this weekend.
“It feels better,” Ortiz said. “The (trainers) were a little surprised about how I was moving compared to when we tried in New York. Like the doctors and trainers say, I’m not going to be 100 percent when I come back to play. But when we start doing the power drills and once I start feeling better, I think I’ll be ready to go.”
Ortiz was in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak prior to suffering the injury while running the bases on July 16 against the White Sox. The 36-year-old slugger is batting .316/.414/.609 with 23 home runs, 58 RBI and a 1.024 OPS in 89 games played this season. The Red Sox have shuffled multiple players out of the DH spot during his absence, including Cody Ross tonight against Twins’ right-hander Samuel Deduno.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.