David Ortiz not playing in the Red Sox’s first 10 spring training games is no surprise as he comes back from the Achilles’ tendon injury that wrecked his 2012 season, but the fact that he still has soreness is potentially a reason to worry.
Manager John Farrell told Maureen Mullen of CNSNE.com that Ortiz will have to run the bases on back-to-back days before he’s cleared for game action, but he was sore enough after doing so Saturday that he canceled Sunday’s scheduled session.
As part of his two-year contract Ortiz’s 2014 salary can rise from $11 million to $15 million if he spends fewer than 20 days on the disabled list due to the Achilles’ tendon injury this season. He’ll make $14 million this year.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.