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Red Sox's DH position up for grabs with Ortiz sidelined

The SportsXchange

OK, now what for the Boston Red Sox?

Now that it's clear designated hitter David Ortiz will not be ready for Opening Day -- no one knows when he'll be ready -- the team must begin the unpalatable task of figuring out which dominoes will fall.

"Well, Opening Day was my goal," a dejected Ortiz said. "You guys heard me talking about it when I first got here (to spring training). I was feeling good and pushing things the way I was being told. Right now, Opening Day seems like it's not the case. The case is get me healthy for five or 5 1/2 good months. That's what we're looking for now."

Ortiz received some clarification on his condition in the form of MRIs on both heels on March 9. The tests revealed inflammation in both heels, though the Red Sox claim the inflammation is not related to the balky right Achilles injury that basically sidelined him since last July. They did say, and Ortiz confirmed, that the right heel is bothering him more than the left.

With Ortiz sidelined, the Sox have a number of options. The boldest would be to keep rookie Jackie Bradley Jr., who has never played above Double-A, on the roster and make him the starting left fielder, with Jonny Gomes sliding to designated hitter.

The designated hitter position also could feature some combination of Daniel Nava, Mike Carp or Lyle Overbay, should the veteran make the team.

None would provide the pop of Ortiz, but such is the Red Sox's current situation.
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