After getting swept by the lowly Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park this weekend, the sinking Boston Red Sox are now 1-7 in September and 63-78 overall. They are headed for their worst season since 1997, the last time they finished under .500. Recognizing their place in the American League East standings, and not wanting to risk an injury that could threaten his career, David Ortiz will likely not return to the active roster this season, the 36-year-old designated hitter told reporters on Sunday.
Ortiz, who will be 37 in November, was in the midst of another monstrous year before he suffered an Achilles tendon injury while rounding the bases on a teammate’s home run on July 16. He had two hits in his one-game return to the lineup on August 24 but did not feel comfortable and was placed on the DL once again.
In 383 plate appearances, he has a .318 average, a 1.026 OPS, 23 home runs, 60 RBI and 26 doubles. The OPS – which measures on-base percentage plus slugging percentage – was its highest since 2007 when he logged a 1.066 mark.
Last month, Baseball News Source speculated if the Red Sox will bring back Ortiz next season. He reluctantly accepted Boston’s arbitration offer and signed a one-year, $14.575 million last off-season. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington – who has just $42.9 million in salary commitments for 2013 after the blockbuster trade with the Dodgers that relieved Boston of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett – has said that retaining Ortiz will be a priority.