Banged-up David Ortiz given the night off

David Ortiz lies on the ground after fouling a ball off his foot on Sunday against the Mariners. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
David Ortiz lies on the ground after fouling a ball off his foot on Sunday against the Mariners.

TORONTO — When David Ortiz fouled a pitch off his right foot on Sunday, he feared the worst, that’s how much pain he was in.

“I thought I broke something,” Ortiz said on Monday, prior to the Red Sox’ 4-3, 10-inning win over the Toronto Blue Jays. “I hit the ball off my foot all the time. But I think it was the worst I’ve ever hit a ball off my foot. I went straight to the ground.

“It was a pitch that was cutting, it felt like the same velocity coming in [as] was the same velocity coming into my foot.”


X-rays were negative and the swelling went down. But Ortiz was still limping around, unable to put his full weight on his foot. He is hopeful of playing on Tuesday night.

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Mike Napoli was the designated hitter on Monday with Allen Craig playing first base.

Ortiz, who took a pitch off his left elbow on Saturday, was given a day to rest his battered body. He took the time to reflect a bit on the season.

Ortiz has an .886 OPS with 30 home runs and 93 RBIs. At age 39, he remains one of the best hitters in the game. But that doesn’t dull the pain of losing.

“It doesn’t matter what you do, you’re going to go home and be watching the playoffs on TV. It’s not a fun situation,” he said.


The last-place Red Sox, he believes, were done in by inconsistency.

“Sometimes we hit, but we don’t pitch well. Sometimes we pitch well, we don’t hit well. Sometimes it was good pitching, good hitting, but poor defense,” he said.

“To win ballgames you need to combine everything, a combination of a little bit of everything so you can consistently win ballgames. That’s a big part of the things that we didn’t do well.”

Ortiz approves of the roster additions the Red Sox made at the non-waiver trade deadline and then with the signing of Rusney Castillo. Since the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes, he has hit .361 with a 1.134 OPS.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about Castillo. I got to meet him the other day and he seems like a good kid,” Ortiz said.


“Those players from Cuba, they know how to deal with things, they know what they’re doing. That’s why they come straight to the big leagues and perform at the highest level. It’s going to be fun.”

Ortiz said he wants to help Castillo settle and teach him what he can about life in the majors.

Ortiz said there are no particular individual goals he hopes to accomplish before the season ends against the Yankees at Fenway Park on Sept. 28.

“Not really,” he said. “I come in every year trying to get things done, to win ballgames. To be honest with you, my own personal goals when I come into the season are to get the best out of me so we can win ballgames.

“I know this ballclub counts on myself big time and I try not to let people down. I keep on working as hard as I can to keep on improving.”

Ortiz laughed when asked what it would mean to lead the league in home runs and RBIs at this stage of his career.

“What can I tell you? I still got it,” he said. “That’s all. Pitching has been unbelievable this year. This year is the best pitching I have seen since I first got to the big leagues. Every bullpen has an ERA of two-something. Ever notice that?”

Ortiz is signed for $16 million next season, which now looks like a bargain when compared with other run-producers at his elite level.

The Red Sox own $10 million options for 2016 and ’17. Those deals vest if Ortiz passes a team physical and the base salary can expand to as much as $16 million based on plate appearances the previous season.

Ortiz has 461 home runs. Can he get to 500?

“Probably,” he said. “I’m going to be playing and hopefully I’m healthy and we’ll see how it goes from there.”

Waiting on Castillo

Manager John Farrell said the Red Sox are waiting for Castillo to get a work permit. Once that is done, he would join one of the minor league affiliates.

“We’re taking it one step at a time until the paperwork is done,” Farrell said.

Minor league seasons end on Sept. 1. But a number of Red Sox teams are headed for the postseason in their respective leagues and Castillo will not lack for opportunities until he is deemed ready to join the Red Sox.

Because he has not played competitively in more than a year, Castillo is expected to need a few games to regain his timing.

Replay questions

Farrell remains in favor of replay but would like more clarity about the rules.

Rays manager Joe Maddon was allowed to officially protest on Saturday regarding the timing of a review. Farrell said he tried to lodge a similar protest Aug. 17 and was told he could not. Farrell believed replay was used to check a “neighborhood play” at second base, something the rules prohibit.

“I think as we go through a first year, there’s certainly been a learning curve,” Farrell said. “There are certainly adjustments to be had.”

Farrell would prefer replay taken out of the hands of managers and instead he handled by an extra umpire.

Sad streak

The Red Sox lost the final eight games of their recent homestand. It is their longest losing streak at Fenway Park since losing 12 straight from June 3-29, 1994. The Red Sox last lost eight straight in a single homestand from May 16-22, 1962 . . . Joe Kelly, who felt shoulder discomfort in his start on Friday, threw without issue in the bullpen on Sunday and will start as scheduled on Wednesday . . . The Red Sox have not named a starter for Friday’s game at Tampa Bay. Somebody will be called up from Pawtucket . . . With Xander Bogaerts on the seven-day concussion disabled list, the Red Sox called up infielder Carlos Rivero. The 26-year-old, who had never been in the majors before, was signed to a minor league contract before the season and has hit .264 in 105 games for Double A Portland and Triple A Pawtucket. Farrell said his intent was to play Brock Holt at shortstop with Bogaerts out . . . Cespedes, who drove in the winning run, has hit safely in 17 of his last 20 games . . . Clay Buchholz, who pitched into the ninth inning but came away with no decision, has a 2.13 ERA in 13 starts at the Rogers Centre . . . The Sox snapped a six-game losing streak against Toronto. They are 4-10 against the Jays this year with all four wins coming in Toronto . . . All 23 games the Red Sox have played this month have lasted at least three hours.

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.