Red Sox manager John Farrell said Ortiz was benched because he is batting .144 against left-handed pitchers this season.
“Left-hander on the mound and for the time being, we’re trying to get David going against some lefties,” Farrell said, according to WEEI. “When you look at what he’s doing against righties it’s exactly the same as what he did a year ago when he was probably 20 percent of our overall offense. And yet we’re trying to get him back on track against some left-handers.”
Baltimore’s starter on Wednesday was lefty Wei-Yin Chen. Ortiz sat despite being a .308 lifetime hitter against Chen. Hanley Ramirez took Ortiz’s place at designated hitter during the game, which Baltimore won 5-2.
"What do you want me to tell you?" Ortiz said before the game. "You have to ask the manager. I am not the manager here. I'm just the player. I do what I get to be told. I'm not playing today, so I'm here in case he needs me later.”
Farrell said that Ortiz understood why he made the move.
“David is a pro, and he understands there is some work to be done to get back to the normal levels against left-handed pitchers,” he said.
The Orioles are scheduled to send right-hander Chris Tillman to the mound for the series finale against Boston on Thursday.
Ortiz is batting .278 against right-handers and has six home runs and 21 RBIs in 52 games this season for the Red Sox (27-33), who are last place in the American League East.
- Scooby Axson