Saturday, April 20, 2013

Day 20: Big Papi is Back in Boston!

Fear not Red Sox Nation, the team's patriarch has returned to lead his family. That's right folks, David Ortiz completed his rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket and will rejoin the team when they play the Kansas City Royals this afternoon. This will be the first home game for the Sox since Monday's devastating events in Boston—and since the capture of cockroach suspect #2—and will surely be emotional one for the team and the fans.

What better way to lift spirits than to see the wide smile of the heart and soul of the Red Sox lineup bounce out of the dugout for the pre-game warmups? Luckily, the team has not been suffering too much in his absence—getting off to a 11-4 start. But now, things just feel complete.

The unfortunate part is that someone needs to be sent down to the minors to free up space on the roster for Ortiz's return and it appears that unlucky soul will be Jackie Bradley Jr. It was only a matter of time. Since the season began, Bradley Jr. (who had been lights out in spring training) has not done well. After batting a whopping .419 in Fort Meyers, he has struggled so far in the regular season, managing only three hits in 31 at bats for an average of 0.097. Ouch. And 12 strikeouts. Double ouch.

Big Papi hasn't played in a game since August 24, 2012 after a persisting achilles injury sidelined the slugger. There was hope he would be healed and ready to rumble for opening day but that idea was quashed when he had trouble running the bases in Florida—something rather important in baseball. I'm sure Mike Napoli is looking forward to Papi's homecoming and the extra help he'll gain in the middle of the lineup.

Welcome home, Big Papi... welcome home!

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