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January 23, 2008
by Ryan Hudson
This is a few weeks old now, but still worth passing along (especially since the Red Sox pitchers and catchers report three weeks from today -- THREE weeks!). Via Surviving Grady comes this nugget, taken from a Peter Gammons' chat:
alan_in_brighton__Guest: How did surgery go for David Ortiz? Do you think he will be in '06 shape for this season, or should we expect a solid year like this past season, with a little less home run power?
Peter_Gammons: My guess is that he'll be fine. And in a lot less pain than he was at times last year. I thought for nearly three months, he was very clear that self confident presence was missing and it was injury related. In the 40 HR range... what's going to be interesting is going to be how Manny hits with him. Manny rented a house in the Phoenix area and has become a maniacal workout warrior in Tempe Arizona at the Athletes' Performance Institute (API). From what I've heard from people at API, Manny is getting himself into phenomenal shape. And having watched those workouts, I can tell you, they are extremely difficult.
So...a healthy Ortiz (career 139 OPS+)? A Manny Ramirez (154 OPS+) in "phenomenal shape"? Plus Kevin Youkilis (109 OPS+), Mike Lowell (110 OPS+) and J.D. Drew (128 OPS+) as your two, five and six hitters? That's 103 home runs from just five players, three of which had "off" years by their standards.
2008 could be a long year for American League pitchers.