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Steady progress has David Ortiz feeling upbeat

David Ortiz feels he needs between 50-60 at-bats between now and the start of the season.Steve Niesius/Reuters

FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz feels more optimistic that he’ll be in the Opening Day lineup after running the bases Monday and feeling as if he can manage the expected soreness in his Achilles’.

“It feels good,” Ortiz said. “When I get going I’m fine. The problem is once I cool off, I start to get sore, but the doctor said it will go away. It’s just part of the treatment, part of [when you] start doing things. The injury, you got to start getting used to. That’s why we practice over and over and over and over. So you can get to that point . . . it’s a good day. I was moving pretty good. I don’t think I can run faster than that. Let’s just see how things go later on tonight.”


Ortiz feels he needs between 50-60 at-bats between now and the start of the season and thinks he can do that by a combination of major league and minor league games.

“I want to play way before that,” he said. “Yeah, that’s why I was doing all this stuff so I’m good to go for Opening Day. But the main goal right now is make sure I get to play down here. Because if I play down here that means I’m good to go.”

As for the soreness that kept him from running Sunday, he said, “Well it’s pretty much, it’s all around the same area, but different spot, which is good because that tells you that what you had before is already recovered. So it’s probably just getting used to it.

“I was running like I wasn’t worried about anything. That’s important. I ran today better than what I did the last time I ran. So everybody was pretty happy about it. I’m happy about it, because nothing bothers me when I was running and that’s a plus. That is telling me that I’m going in the right direction.’’


Ortiz was asked about whether he could run Tuesday and he said, “They don’t want to wear me out either now. Because definitely the more you run the more stress you put on the joints. So that’s why today I ran like 120 yards, tomorrow they might cut me down to 60. It all depends on how I feel. But the following day it’s my goal for another 160. It all depends.

“It’s been a slow process but we’re happy the way things are going. And hopefully continue that. I’m pretty sure they’re going to continue that because I see myself improving every time we do this, more and more. The smart part about it is try not to rush it because game action is different. You might go one direction and have to turn back.”

Structurally, Ortiz said his Achilles’ is OK. He never suffered a rupture or tear the way Ryan Howard did.

“My Achilles’ is fine. It’s back to normal,’’ Ortiz said. “So what I’m dealing right now with is some calcification down there. It seems like it’s going away because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to move like I just did. So that’s good.’’

Doubront’s debut

Felix Doubront will wait to see how his left shoulder responds after making his spring training debut and pitching a scoreless 1⅔ innings, throwing 43 pitches, with two walks and two strikeouts in Boston’ 5-1 win over the Rays at Jet Blue Park.


“I was a little bit [worried] today. I was focused more and a little scared to feel something. But everything went well,” Doubront said. “As soon as I wake I’m going to raise my arm to see how it feels. If it feels good, I’ll let the guys know and get more work in.’’

Doubront’s mother, Nancy, made a surprise visit from Venezuela and watched her son pitch as a major leaguer for the first time.

Britton arrested, demoted

Lefthanded pitcher Drake Britton was arrested for DUI over the weekend, WFTX-TV in Fort Myers, Fla., reported. Britton was optioned to Double A Portland . . . The Red Sox likely won’t keep both Mike Carp and Lyle Overbay in the first base/left field backup role. Both could become trade bait later in camp. The Brewers are looking for a first baseman and Overbay once played for them. The Sox may also have a trade for some of their relievers, namely Andrew Bailey, who has been an All-Star closer. Tigers scouts have been watching Bailey. Tigers rookie Bruce Rondon has been struggling early . . . Daniel Nava works at first base every day and is becoming more comfortable. Nava could emerge as the outfielder/first baseman. He is a switch-hitter and a superior outfielder to Carp . . . The Sox signed 19 players, which means everyone on the roster is now signed.

Union duties

Union head Michael Weiner held a 90-minute informational meeting with the players Monday. While Weiner said that PEDs did not dominate the discussion, it was a big part of it.


“There is a healthy discussion among players as to what the best way to deal with the program is,” Weiner said. “Some players want stricter penalties, some players believe the penalties we have are sufficient — they are stronger than any other team sport — and many players want what I call a differential penalty. A higher penalty for intentional violation but a lesser penalty for unintentional violation

“As I’ve said before, we made that suggestion for the owners for 2013. They decided not to accept it and that’s fine. I expect we’ll have further discussions. But at this point we’ll get a consensus among the players and it will be 2014 before there is any modification.”

On players not being excited about playing in the World Baseball Classic, Weiner said, “I’ve also been around long enough to know that sometimes the player doesn’t want to play and the club winds up taking the fall for that.

“But I also understand that there are a whole lot of situations this year where the player really wanted to play and the club put pressure on him not to play, whether that was a US player, and that’s unfortunate. It’s still going to be a great tournament. When you look at quality of players involved, there’s some great players — MVPs, Cy Youngs — but there’s room for improvement of participation.”

Nick Cafardo can be reached at cafardo@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @nickcafardo.