At the beginning of a slow start to the season, absolutely everyone, including myself was screaming for Big Papi's head to be cut off and mailed anywhere but here. This month, David Ortiz has turned a corner, unless he's guessing right on every fastball, knocking out 8 home runs in May.
The not so versatile designated hitter began the season similar to last season, struggling to break the .200 mark with only 1 home run. Watching Big Papi swing and miss at 90 MPH fastballs on 2-1 and 3-1 counts was gut wrenching. I'm not on the wagon yet, wondering whether or not he took a trip back to the Dominican Republic for a few milk shakes while the rest of the team was playing against the National League. We all know that it wouldn't bother me one bit if that were the case, but I'm just skeptical as to the validity of Papi's power numbers staying this strong throughout the next six months.
Big Papi By The Numbers
April: .143/1 HR/4 RBI/.238 OBP/21 K
As is evident by the numbers, David Ortiz is hitting extremely well for the month of May, looking like the Big Papi of old that we want to see at the plate in those clutch situations. However, being a freak, I also want to point out that all 9 of Ortiz's home runs came during night games. Eight of Papi's home runs are against right handed pitchers and six of those were at opposing ball parks. Suffice it to say, although he is producing more, maybe, just maybe it's the best time to dump Ortiz onto another team in return for a power hitter that can produce better numbers at Fenway Park where we play 81 games a season and need as many runs as possible.
Ride him while he's hot, but also take note that he's better of batting against righties on the road at night. How about we give Mike Lowell some at bats at Fenway and see what he can do with them. The Red Sox are climbing up in the division and sweeping the Devil Rays would be huge in a race that always ends within two or three games.
Thanks to Keith Allison for the photo of David Ortiz.