David Ortiz expected to debut on April 19

4/10/13 in MLB   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

August 24, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) prior to a game against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIREDavid Ortiz began the 2013 MLB season on the DL, but Red Sox nation shouldn't have to wait much longer to see the longtime fan favorite. Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reported that the Red Sox are hopeful that Ortiz (heels) will make his season debut on April 19th against the Royals.

Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a double in a simulated game on Monday, and went 2-for-5 in an extended spring game on Tuesday. After experiencing no setbacks, the Red Sox designated the 37 year old slugger to a minor league rehab assignment that will begin on Thursday. Assuming Ortiz continues his rehab with no setbacks, April 19th is a very realistic date for him to return.

After a few disappointing campaigns, Ortiz has bounced back nicely the past couple of seasons, batting over .300 each of the past two years. Despite playing only 90 games in 2012, he still managed 23 home runs, 60 RBI, and 65 runs along with a batting average of .318. He should be plugged into all fantasy lineups shortly after his return.

Once he does make his return, Ortiz will pretty much be a strict DH, with Mike Napoli remaining at first base. Jonny Gomes has been the DH for the Red Sox in most games this season, batting to the tune of .231 and zero RBI, so Ortiz should provide some significant improvement in that spot. Gomes, however, could see some starts in left field if young Jackie Bradley (batting .143) continues to struggle.
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