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Globe 10.0: Is Big Papi back?

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  June 22, 2009 10:34 AM

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On today's episode of Globe 10.0 (now on Facebook!), the Globe's Bob Ryan and Charlie Pierce discuss the recent resurgence of Red Sox DH David Ortiz.

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Ortiz bottomed out at .187 with an OPS of .570 on June 3 (track Ortiz's season average here). But he hit a two-run home run Sunday against the Braves, and he has five home runs and three doubles this month. He has an OPS of 1.054 in June.

"He's rediscovered that opposite field stroke," says Ryan. "That's the one that made him "Papi" back in '03 and '04."

The Red Sox tried to ride out Ortiz's struggles in the early part of the season, leaving him in the No. 3 spot for almost two months. But Terry Francona made the decision to drop Ortiz down to sixth in the lineup on May 26. He's currently hitting in the No. 5 spot.

"Most of his home runs of late have been to left center or right center, which is a very very good sign," says Ryan. "We'll take this guy."

Still, Ryan and Pierce weren't ready to announce that Ortiz's issues at the plate have been fully cured.

"Not yet," says Pierce. "If he comes out at the beginning of the second half blazing, then I'll say he's cured."

What do you think? Is Big Papi back to his old self? What do you need to see to convince you that his struggles early this season were an anomaly and not a sign of a major decline?

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