When Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz came up injured rounding second base in the 8th inning of last night’s win against the Chicago White Sox, fans everywhere had the same reaction: “Please, let this just be a cramp.”
Instead, Ortiz is scheduled to undergo an MRI (via Boston.com) today that will determine the extent of the damage to his right Achilles’ tendon. Although the injury does not seem terribly serious, any time missed by the slugger would be a huge blow to the Sox.
This team has just started to get healthy, with Carl Crawford playing his first game of the season last night, and Jacoby Ellsbury only having just returned as well. With Dustin Pedroia recovering more quickly than anticipated from his thumb injury, it looked like the Sox might finally have their preferred lineup available within a week.
An injury to Ortiz changes all that in a hurry.
Big Papi has been the Red Sox’s most valuable hitter by far, leading the team in most offensive categories while providing strong leadership off the field. Losing him for even a brief period of time would be a huge blow to the team’s chances of climbing back into the playoff race.
While there’s also a chance that this injury is minor and Ortiz will not miss much time, all scenarios need to be considered. Here are five possibilities for how long Ortiz is on the shelf, and what each means for the Sox.