ARLINGTON, Texas — Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will miss at least two games to work on his swing in the cage, manager John Farrell said on Thursday before the opener of a four-game series against the Rangers.
Mired in a 3-for-31 slump that has dropped his average to .216, Ortiz will take a step back and focus on his mechanics.
“Get some extra work done in the cage, try to get him going again before we get him back in the lineup,” Farrell said. “I think he’s feeling under the weather as well. As you do with every player, you talk and try to keep up to date with each guy individually and this is a chance to hopefully have him get over that, as well as address some of the things and give him a little bit of a breather.”
Ortiz waved off reporters who approached him today, saying he was sick and, “you don’t want to be near me.” But neither Ortiz nor Farrell cited illness as the reason the slugger is out of the lineup.
With Ortiz sidelined, Hanley Ramirez is expected to shift from left field to designated hitter.
Farrell said there’s nothing wrong with Ortiz physically, and acknowledged that part of the break is for mental purposes. He informed Ortiz of the decision after Wednesday’s loss to the Twins, and wouldn’t rule out a return to the lineup in Texas.
“Have a chance to hopefully accomplish a few things and that’s to get him over what he’s dealing with,” Farrell said. “It’s a combination of a few things. There’s some of that, there’s some of what he’s battling a little bit, but hopefully more than anything, just take a little bit of a step back and regroup.”
In other Red Sox news:
— Farrell said Daniel Nava, who was placed on the disabled list with a left thumb sprain, had been limited in his pregame work, which affected his timing.
— Outfielder Carlos Peguero, acquired from the Rangers on Wednesday, is on the roster to face his former team. Farrell said he’ll be used as a left-handed bat off the bench. Peguero, who owns a pair of 30-homer seasons in the minors, said he “thanks God,” the Red Sox picked him up.
He said it will be strange to face his former team.
“At the beginning yeah, but this is a business,” Peguero said. “This is baseball. You can be here today and then be in another place. I’m not going to be surprised. I’m going to be calm and happy to perform.”
— With Nava sidelined, jack-of-all-trades Brock Holt can now add “backup first baseman” to his resume.