David Ortiz still “not comfortable” at the plate

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David Ortiz has five hits in eight at-bats since returning from an Achilles injury that abruptly shortened his 2012 season. And yet, the Red Sox DH says he still doesn’t feel comfortable at the plate.

Via WEEI’s Annie Maroon:

“I’m battling right now,” Ortiz, who went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the afternoon game against the Royals, said. “I wasn’t facing pitching for eight months, and I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t feel comfortable yet. I’ve been lucky. I’ve been hitting where nobody’s at, but I don’t feel yet the way I like to feel, you know what I’m saying?”

Ryan Howard, another lefty slugger who suffered an Achilles injury, has hit just 15 home runs in 358 plate appearances since returning in July 2012. Ortiz has hit 20 or more home runs in each season dating back to 2002, so it will be interesting to see if he can recapture his power.

Dodgers seen as likely to land Manny Machado

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Dodgers are “increasingly likely” to land Manny Machado. He says that other teams who have been linked to Machado — including the Phillies and Brewers — believe that that’s what was going to happen.

Against that backdrop a couple of Dodgers players at the All-Star Game — Matt Kemp and Ross Stripling — made comments this afternoon suggesting that, yeah, they thought Machado was coming their way too, even if there was no specific inside information on their part.

As I wrote earlier today, it sounds like this is a done deal and everyone is just waiting for the All-Star Game to be over to announce it.