Struggling David Ortiz will get a couple of days off to work on his swing

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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.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.